NPF appeals for ‘mutual trust’ to break impasse
Dimapur, October 23: With the October 31 deadline to conclude the Indo-Naga peace talk drawing nearer, a crucial meeting between Government of India and the NSCN (IM) to break the impasse over a separate Naga flag and constitution will be held on October 24 at New Delhi.
In the negotiation, GoI will be represented by Nagaland Governor and Centre’s interlocutor RN Ravi and NSCN (IM) team will be led by its chief negotiator and general secretary Th Muivah.
Thursday’s meeting between the two sides is seen as a ‘make or break talk’ as its outcome is likely to steer in which direction the peace process proceeds further. As per reports, the Centre has made it clear that there will be no more talk after October 31.
Taking no chances, the Government of Nagaland has already put the State on maximum alert and has recalled all police personnel on leave and ordered all administrative officers not to leave their post.
The stalemate in the talks is over the NSCN (IM) insistence on a separate Naga flag and constitution as part of the peace deal, which New Delhi has so far ruled out.
Interlocutor for Naga talks, RN Ravi, who is also the Governor of Nagaland, has accused the NSCN (IM) of adopting a “procrastinating attitude” to delay the settlement raising the contentious symbolic issues of a separate Naga national flag and constitution, on which, he said, they are fully aware of the Government of India’s position.
On the other hand, the NSCN (IM) has accused GoI of backtracking from the Framework Agreement signed in 2015 “in complicity with some few Nagas who are dancing to the tunes of the GoI.”
Maintaining its stand, the NSCN (IM) in a statement on Wednesday made it clear that the two core issues – flag and constitution has to do with God given Naga nationhood. “It is for this very reason that no Naga stays immune from these pending issues as it matters our identity and pride,” the statement said.
Incidentally Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio is in Delhi and has called on important Central leaders, including Defence Minister Rajnath Singh. He was also expected to call on Union Home Minister Amit Shah. The presence of the Chief Minister in Delhi is crucial given that the Centre has hardened its stand on the Naga issue.
Meanwhile opposition Naga People’s Front (NPF) today appealed for mutual trust between GoI and NSCN (IM) to break the impasse.
Expressing pain over the impasse with both the NSCN (IM) and GoI Interlocutor RN Ravi maintaining their stand and holding each other responsible for the stalemate, the NPF said, “In order to have a meaningful solution to the issue, mutual trust between the main players is the only answer.”
In a statement issued after a a consultative meeting of its legislature wing, core committee, senior leaders and frontal wings leaders today, the NPF said, “The GOI should not serve any sort of ultimatum to solve the Naga political issue rather it should handle with all care and seriousness. Appropriate timing for a peaceful solution should guide the ongoing peace process keeping space for concession to some extent, if found necessary.”
The NPF said it always stands for an honourable, inclusive and acceptable solution to the protracted Indo-Naga political issue, and reminded that towards this end it had welcomed the signing of the ‘Framework Agreement of 3rd August, 2015 between the Government of India and NSCM (I-M) and the joining of the seven NNPGs in the peace process towards the later part of 2017.
“We do not believe that Government of India will sign another 16-Point Memorandum types of agreement. Because in that, the Government of India signed the agreement with the go-between group leaving behind the main contenders for whom the agreement was proposed. Therefore, the said agreement failed to bring peace but more divisions. The same tragedy should never be repeated. Naga people want real peace after an agreement is signed,” it said.
Stating that it is not aware of the ruling PDA’s role in this crucial stage of the Indo-Naga political issue, the NPF reiterated its stand and commitment to continue to play facilitator role as always.
“Another mistake will be very costly not only for one faction or group but for every one involving in the process. Let us look up to God, the Almighty to help us,” it added.
(Page News Service)