Dimapur, Sep. 12 (EMN): The ‘impending agreement’ to the Indo-Naga political talks will ensure that Nagas “exercise absolute sovereign rights, power, authority control, make own laws and administer” as per Naga customary laws and practices together with the contemporary democratic political system, according to the working committee of NNPGs.

A statement from the committee on Thursday informed that the two entities have also identified possible transitional and operational difficulties owing to constitutional and legal mechanisms, which had prevented Nagas from exercising their sovereign rights over their land and resources in the past.

“Therefore operational clauses shall be added to remove all difficulties. The agreement, once ratified and incorporated, will ensure that neither the Parliament nor the Constitution will intrude on these matters. Eventually, this is how government of India and Nagas will coexist acknowledging Naga political and historical right and our distinct identity,” read the statement.

According to the committee, the ‘Agreed Position’ signed on November 17, 2017 between the WC of NNPG and GoI as two entities entrenched, in spirit and essence, the Naga Plebiscite of May 16, 1951.

“The working committee (WC), Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) and GoI first held preliminary dialogue in September 2017. It had to be from ground zero, brick by brick, layer by layer on a rough platform. What was acceptable to GoI was not the point, rather, what should be accepted by India was the focus. On this principle, the right of the Nagas to self determine their political future, anchoring on mutual coexistence considering the contemporary political realities, but with a distinct political and administrative system in consonance with Naga identity, customary practices and procedures,” it stated.

The committee stated that RN Ravi comes to the negotiation table as interlocutor and not in the ‘capacity, status and protocol of a state governor.’

“Prior to his appointment as governor of Nagaland state, the GoI interlocutor was also the Deputy National Security Adviser. Therefore, WC is comfortable in all round issues and prepared to get agreement incorporated into the Constitution.”

It also stated that the committee has never deviated from the core values and principles of Naga historical and political right. “What is agreed upon in principle, thus far, is therefore a people’s negotiation, a people’s charter, will remain a people’s historic document,” it stated.

Any unresolved contentious issues needing political and democratic process and consensus will continue in the future, with greater participation of the Nagas and people-to-people dialogue with neighbours where necessary, it added.

“The rainbow with a star, to the Naga people, remains a source and force of Naga political struggle. It has a supernatural and divine connotation, which lives in every Naga hearth. The sentimental value and spiritual inspiration behind its origin makes it an emblem, an insignia and a Naga totem,” read the statement.

~EMN

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