Guwahati: A Rajya Sabha panel has urged the Centre to conclude the Naga peace talks, which started more than two decades ago, and come to an agreement with stakeholders soon. This is the second time in seven months that the department-related committee on home affairs (Rajya Sabha) has asked the NDA government to bring the Naga peace efforts to a logical end.
The committee, headed by former home minister P Chidambaram, reiterated its call for an early resolution of the Naga crisis after the Union home ministry submitted an action taken report to the House on Thursday. In the report, the home ministry said, “Talks with NSCN (IM) and other groups are continuing and efforts to reach a final settlement are going on.”
In July last, the committee, in a report, observed that there had been positive outcomes in the peace process. It also expressed fears that Naga groups and tribal bodies might get restless because of the delay in finding a solution to the crisis. The report further said, “The Committee apprehends that any further delay may harm the progress achieved during the last few years. The Committee, therefore, strongly recommends that the Government should conclude the peace talks, at the earliest, based on a broad understanding over the most contentious issues.”
The committee had observed that the improvement in law and order in Nagaland could be attributed to the 2015 Framework Agreement. It noted that it “believes that the signing of the final Naga Peace Accord can bring long lasting peace to the State that was once the hotspot of insurgency for the North Eastern Region.”
The report said any final settlement with the Naga groups might have implications for Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam, where Nagas live in certain areas. It suggested that these states should be kept abreast of the emerging dynamics of the talks. The most contentious issue until now has been the Nagas’ demand for integration of Naga-dominated areas of Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam.
It will be recalled here that the Framework Agreement was signed between the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) in 2015, after more than 80 rounds of talks and a year after the NDA came to power. The initial rounds of peace dialogue were held abroad and it was only in 2002 that the venue was shifted to India. In 2017, six more Naga groups joined the peace process and last week, an NSCN (Khaplang) faction dominated by Nagas of Indian origin joined the negotiating table. The other two factions of NSCN (Khaplang) have Nagas of Myanmarese origin.
~Image for representation only
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