Says Indo-Naga talks cannot be held hostage to security & military establishments
Dimapur, October 12: The Naga Rising (TNR) today said that the Indo-Naga peace talks cannot be held hostage to the security and military establishment and that the political leadership in the Government must intervene and take lead in resolving the Naga issue.
It said the political commitment and assurance as expressed through recognition of the “uniqueness of Naga history and situation” and the “historical and political rights of the Nagas to self-determine their future in consonant with their distinct Nagas to self-determine their future in consonant with their distinct identity” must be honoured.
While reiterating its earlier position that any solution must be mutual and agreed by both sides and it cannot be forced upon the other, the newly formed organization demanded the Government of India to come out with an open and clear-cut direction on how it intends to sign and conclude the present negotiations against the backdrop of what it has already stated that “there is only one peace process…and eventually there will be only one agreement as we cannot fragment the Naga issue.”
After stating the Government of India’s position on the general contours of a possible agreement, including the 3-month time frame that was disclosed by the Interlocutor himself, RN Ravi, who is also the Governor of Nagaland, has remained silent on the future course of the peace process, it said.
However, the Rising hoped that a clear roadmap is presented to conclude the talks along with some form of “power and responsibility sharing arrangement” among the Naga Political Groups”, which would ensure a smooth and peaceful transfer of power and competencies based on the political arrangement being worked out.
On the Government of India’s announcement of a ‘3-month deadline’ to conclude the Indo-Naga peace talks, the Naga Rising observed that only few weeks remains. It also observed that there is a wide disconnect between what has been talked about-honorable and acceptable solution-and the ground reality, especially the way the proposed peace accord will be signed and implemented by the Government of India and the Naga Political Groups.
While some Naga elders have voiced out their concern on the proposed competencies, which is part of the peace agreement being worked out, the Naga Rising said that this is also the time for elders, intellectuals, tribe hohos and civil society take the onus on themselves and provide innovative ideas as to how to address the differences between the two Naga sides-the NSCN (IM) on the one hand and the Working Committee of the 7 NNPGs, especially when Nagas are in the final stage for the talks to conclude, going on for 22 years with the NSCN (IM) and the last two years with the 7 NNPGs.
The key question is the need for bringing all Naga National Groups as part of the peace process and address differences that exist among them, it added.
It said the Naga Rising had written to the Prime Minister earlier through the Governor’s office with the proposal to appoint a Group of Naga Interlocutors who could mediate between the warring groups and help in facilitating convergence and conclusion of the talks, but there has been no response from the Interlocutor to the idea of a Naga group playing the role of uniting the divergent Naga groups, although the Interlocutor has on record expressed concern over the prevailing division among the Nagas.
The Naga Rising also sought clarification on the nature of role being played by the Union Home Minister, especially at this stage of the peace process when it is common knowledge that the present talks under Narendra Modi government is under the direct supervision of the Prime Minister.
It also sought clarification on the reported deadline of October 31. Citing some reports that suggest the ongoing peace talks is planned to be concluded by ‘the end of this year’, the Rising pointed out that as recently as September 19, the ruling party’s (BJP) National General Secretary Ram Madhav did not mention the October 31 deadline but only gave a general time frame to conclude the Naga issue by ‘the end of this year’.
“Is the reported ‘deadline’ therefore an attempt to force a solution? Will the solution within the ‘deadline’ be inclusive? If not the GoI will be contravening its own position that there is only one peace process and the Naga issue cannot be fragmented. Such a counter move will sow the seed of another cycle of violence and hostility,” it stated.
The Naga Rising stated that it stands for conclusion of the present peace talks as the Naga public is desirous of an early solution and also sought for convergence of the parallel negotiations taking place and a peaceful atmosphere to prevail both in the run-up to the signing of the agreement and thereafter.
(Page News Service)