TODAY -

Now, NSCN (IM) says talks are on track ...and a "tangible solution" on cards
- 26 October 2021, New Delhi -

Nirendra Dev *



Close on the heels of its statement on separate Flag and Constitution and that 'stalemate continues', the NSCN (IM)) on Monday clarified that the peace talks with the Government of India is very much on track. This brings a relief to all stakeholders who are clamouring for peace and a final solution to the long pending Naga political problem.

Nagaland could be headed for one of its 'best Christmas' in recent times. But whether an agreement will be inked before ensuing Manipur legislative assembly elections remain to be seen. Stage is being prepared for resolution of the long pending Naga insurgency and political issue; and possibly by Christmas a breakthrough will be made.

The Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs), a conglomerate of seven militant groups operating chiefly in Nagaland, is now ready for inking a peace pact. So is another splinter group led by Niki Sumi. In a statement, the NSCN (IM) Talk Secretary, W. Zimik said: "....some media houses have misquoted and disinformed (could mean misinformed) creating confusions in the minds of the people".

The organisation, that entered into ceasefire and talks process way back in 1997, said - "Despite differences on certain issues, it is to put on record that the Govt of India and the NSCN (IM) are serious and committed to concretize the Indo-Naga political talks and arrive at a tangible solution based on the principle of the Framework Agreement".

The fresh statement from the potent group comes after two days the NSCN (IM) used strong words and even had said that the "talks failed" to live up to all the hype as the Government of India continues to indulge "in political escapism on the very issues that is holding up the road to the Naga solution".

The militant group also has said that - "the Government of India is still pretentiously acting stubborn as the crucial rounds of talks that focussed on the Naga flag and the Constitution is driven to hang in balance. The stalemate created is unfortunate".

Needless to say, it has been reported widely and in no unambiguous terms that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's government is firm about an early solution to the vexed issue pending since decades. But it would not be in a position to give up a separate flag and Constitution to the Nagas.

In October 2020, former Mizoram Governor Swaraj Kaushal, who was the first peace interlocutor in Naga talks in 1998, had urged rebel leader Thuingaleng Muivah, general secretary of NSCN (IM) to be 'realistic' and said the latter should not press for demands such as Flag and a separate Naga Constitution.

"Brother, you have maturity and understanding. Please be realistic and not press for such demands. Please live and prosper in a democracy. Everything in this country (India) belongs to the people," Kaushal had written in a series of tweets.

"The symbols of sovereignty namely, separate constitution, flag, currency, defence and foreign affairs are sacrosanct and never negotiable," said Mr Kaushal, who had played a major role in bringing in Mizo rebel leader Late Laldenga to the negotiating table.


* Nirendra Dev wrote this article for e-pao.net
The writer is a New Delhi based journalist and author of the book 'The Talking Guns: North East India'
and can be contacted at nirendev1(AT)gmail(DOT)com
This article was webcasted on October 27 2021 .



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