KOHIMA, OCTOBER 27: There are enough indications that the Government of India is finally drafting a format to discuss on the execution of Naga flag and constitution with the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah).
The Naga flag and a separate Constitution are the key demand of NSCN (IM) to which the Union Government had refused to concede but now it is understood that New Delhi is preparing to place the drafting scheme on the table for further deliberation with the NSCN (IM) leaders before inking a final agreement.
With this latest development there is a ray of hope in the Naga peace process. Last week Nagaland Page had reported that there could be a breakthrough after the decision of the Central Government was conveyed to the NSCN (IM) leadership by Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio and Assam’s senior Minister, Himanta Biswa Sarma.
The issue of flag and constitution has deadlocked parleys between the two parties for quite some time. But NSCN (IM) has continued to stick to its gun. There has been substantial progress in the talks, so far, except for the flag and constitution. The competencies are almost completed and are in a final stage, according to sources.
The officials of Intelligence Bureau (IB) are expected to resume the talks with the NSCN (IM), led by General Secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah. The talks are expected centre around on operation of flag and the constitution. The Centre is expected to put certain ceiling on use of Naga flag and implementation of separate constitution in Naga inhabited areas.
The decision of the Central Government was conveyed to the NSCN Chief Negotiator, Muivah, recently in New Delhi by Chief Minister, Rio and Assam’s senior Minister, Biswas, after their closed door meeting with Union Home Minister, Amit Shah. Recently they were assigned with the task of emissary by the Centre after the negotiation was bogged down and tough talk by Muivah on the two contentious issues.
Back home, Rio and former Chief Minister and Leader of the Opposition, TR Zeliang have also disclosed about their meeting with Union Home Minister, Shah, last week, and the decision of the Central Government on the flag and constitution. The Home Minister told the two Naga politicians that Union Government was deliberating on the issue of Naga flag and constitution.
The Centre’s emissary, R N Ravi has been trying to seal the final agreement with the Naga groups but in the process his initiatives boomeranged and the NSCN (IM) refused to sit across the negotiation table with him. Now IB officials are engaged in talks with the Naga group as a fast track means.
Ravi had managed to rally behind him some organizations to put pressure on Naga groups to sign the pact, but this tactics is not working with the NSCN (IM). The pro-Ravi organizations have been insisting that unfinished issues be pursue democratically after the final agreement. The proposition of those organizations is very improbable to be accepted by the Centre. The Government of India would not create a space for the problem to continue.
The Centre has also reiterated that there will be only one agreement and one solution.
(Page News Service)