DIMAPUR, OCTOBER 29 (MExN): The Naga Peoples’ Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) has written to the Prime Minister of India calling for a “negotiated and binding” settlement between India and Nagas.

It stated that the imposition of a deadline to the Indo-Naga talks after 22 years of negotiation is “arbitrary and reflects lack of political will and vision on the part of Government of India.”

The NPMHR said that the present situation “manufactured” by the pronouncement of a deadline is “devoid of the spirit of reconciliation, recognition and mutual respect.”

“It appears as a facade to stalling a solution to the protracted conflict. We have every reason to believe that a war-like situation is returning in the Naga homeland that will cost both India and the Nagas dearly, including the neighbouring states in the region,” the NPMHR said.

It pointed out that the Indo-Naga negotiation is between two “morally equal and distinct entities seeking a political solution guided by universal democratic values and human rights standards.” While the negotiations occur under circumstances determined by India, we expect the world’s largest democracy to demonstrate political maturity and foresight in resolving this political conflict with fairness and dignity, the NPMHR hoped.

Also Read: Govt may sign Naga pact even without NSCN (IM) on 31 Oct: TOI Report

It meanwhile alleged that the Governor of Nagaland and the Interlocutor of the Indo-Naga talks, RN Ravi “unilaterally set a deadline of October 31, 2019 to conclude the peace talk.” This, it claimed, “contravenes the agreed principles i.e., ‘without pre-condition.’”

It urged that a “workable and realistic deadline” must be agreed upon by the negotiating parties without jeopardizing the process.

The NPMHR meanwhile asserted that any agreement should promote “Justice and Peace, strengthen the democracy of both the Nagas and India, and nurture a new relationship between the Nagas and India.”

It further called for any agreement to clearly lay down grounds and foundation for its implementation. A mechanism must be created beforehand to ensure that the signed agreement is binding on the signatories, it added.

It appealed to the Prime Minister that the negotiating parties must learn from the consequences of the history of broken accords and not repeat it.

“Parties to the negotiation must be mindful of the fact that the public must be provided the civil and intellectual space to mobilize themselves to form opinions as right-holders to facilitate an agreement that is truly encompassing and durable.  This is a fundamental necessity recognized and practiced in every matured democracy,” the NPMHR added.

It expressed hope that the Prime Minister would show political maturity and commitment to the Naga people, and demonstrate his able leadership to the world.

~MExN

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