NSCN(IM) questions Centre on ceasefire pact over Naga talks
Questioning the Centre’s handling of the Naga peace talks, the Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) said that signing of ceasefire agreements with “its surrogate factions” was a futile exercise as there is “only one solution” to the “only one Naga issue”.
The Centre on September 7 signed a ceasefire agreement with the Niki Sumi group of the Nagaland Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang).
Terming the agreement as “deceitful dealing”, the NSCN-IM wondered if the Centre was “sincere” about a solution. The organisation said it is “critically important at this stage for the Centre to reaffirm its position and commitment on the Framework Agreement”.
“This deceptive manner of handling the Naga issue leaves us with no option but to ask one serious question from the government of India. Will it enter into agreements with other people also on Naga political issue in the name of stakeholders? But this will in no way show the sincerity of the government. This will simply be a breach of trust and a mockery of the Naga issue,” the NSCN (IM) said in a statement on Sunday.
Stating that the Centre and NSCN (IM) had come a long way in negotiations for a Naga solution that was honourable and acceptable to both the parties, the organisation said the government would unnecessarily “complicate” the matter by going for many agreements.
“It would be a wrong step for the government of India to complicate the Naga issue by taking pleasure in going for many agreements under false pretext which bears no political meaning towards the Naga solution. No amount of agreements will bring a solution if it is not issue-based,” the statement said.
The Centre is currently engaged in ceasefire agreements with five NSCN factions, including the NSCN (IM). It had signed an “agreed position” with seven other Naga nationalist political groups in 2017.
The NSCN (IM), which signed a ceasefire agreement with the Centre in 1997, claims to be the “one and only authentic political organisation of the Naga people”, with whom Centre started a political dialogue on the basis of mutually-agreed points without any conditions in “third countries”.
“In the subsequent talks, with better understanding of each other’s position and respect for historical and political rights of the Naga people, [an] indelible milestone was achieved when the historic Framework Agreement was signed on August 4, 2015. The agreement clearly reflects the unique history of the Nagas, sovereignty of the people and shared sovereignty of the two entities. Significantly, the agreement put the hope of the two people on a high level for a durable solution and peace in the land,” the statement said.
Calling itself the mandated organisation for negotiations, the NSCN (IM) statement said: “In this world of political conflict, a solution is to be materialised through the work of people-mandated organisation or government, and never by the collaborators”.
It said both the Centre and the Naga people had much to gain from the Framework Agreement, and the NSCN (IM) will stick to the agreement in any eventuality.
While it is largely claimed that negotiations pertaining to the Naga political issue have concluded, the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution has been a delaying factor in signing a final deal on the Naga peace process.
HT reached out to MHA for comments but there was no response.