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Monday, Nov 18, 2019

‘Centre trying to twist, hijack outcome of Naga peace talks,’ says NSCN

The NSCN (IM) said it was surprising to see that the central government was trying to “hijack” the outcome of the talks by using a section of people, who were neither mandated nor represented the Naga people and the Naga national issue.

india Updated: Oct 13, 2019 09:23 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times, Guwahati
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with NSCN (IM) chief  Th Muivah at the signing of the framework agreement to solve the Naga political issue  in New Delhi in August 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with then Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh with NSCN (IM) chief Th Muivah at the signing of the framework agreement to solve the Naga political issue in New Delhi in August 2015.(PIB FILE PHOTO)
         

Amid speculation of an early solution to the protracted Naga political issue, the Isak-Muivah faction Nationalist Social Council of Nagaland (NSCN) has accused the central government of trying to twist and backtrack on its commitments to nullify the ‘’framework agreement’’ reached after 22 years of intensive negotiations.

In a statement on Saturday, two days after the latest round of talks between the Centre and NSCN-IM leaders ended in New Delhi, largest Naga rebel outfit said it was surprising to see that the central government was trying to “hijack” the outcome of the talks by using a section of people, who were neither mandated nor represented the Naga people and the Naga national issue.

The outfit also expressed its displeasure at the importance given to seven other rebel outfits, which joined the ongoing peace talks at a much later stage.

“After 22 years long intensive negotiations, the Government of India has now started to twist and backtrack on their commitments and words so that the hard earned framework agreement is nullified on any pretext,” said the statement.

“It is surprising that the GoI is trying to hijack the outcome of the talks by using a section of people who are not mandated and do not represent the Naga people and the Naga national issue,” it added.

The NSCN (IM) also expressed commitment to the framework agreement while reiterating demand for a separate flag and Constitution.

“NSCN is deeply committed to the Framework Agreement, and it will stand by it at all costs in all events,” the statement issued by the information and publicity wing of the outfit.

The talks, which are speculated to end soon to seal a final and lasting solution to the decades old Naga issue before the end of the year, are stuck on the question of providing a separate flag and Constitution for Nagas.

“The Naga national flag is the symbol of the recognized Naga identity. It is the covenant of God with the Naga people and the commitment of the Naga people to God,” the statement read.

“The Constitution of the Nagas is the book form of the recognized sovereignty and mutually agreement competencies,” it added.

The outfit stated that any proposed solution that betrayed the Naga national issue would be a repetition of past mistakes while adding it will be a “great loss” if the “finest opportunity” (available now to find a final solution) is missed.

The Naga peace talks, which aims to resolve the demand by various Naga rebel outfits seeking greater autonomy including a separate Constitution and flag, have been going for over two decades.

In August 2015, the Indian government signed a framework agreement (which was to be basis for further talks for a final solution) with NSCN-IM. Seven other outfits joined to talks two years ago.

In August this year, Centre’s chief interlocutor for the talks RN Ravi took charge as Nagaland Governor.

His statement the same month that Prime Minister Narendra Modi wants talks to conclude within three months led to speculations that the final agreement could be inked before the end of the year.