Kohima, November 22: Amidst Naga nationalism flag and cock party flag flying side by side at Naga Solidarity Park – the place where Nagas cutting across boundaries come to congregate; the Naga People’s Front (NPF) today reiterated to pursue for Naga integration.
Addressing the general convention, NPF President, Dr Shurhozelie Liezietsu said when members of the same family expressed desire to live together there is nothing wrong and that Nagas have not done anything wrong against neighbours. “For saying this we have not done anything wrong against the constitution of the country and the law, because it is our birth right, it is our fundamental right which is justifiable under the constitution of India,” he said.
Expressing optimism that Naga integration would become a reality, he said at the end of the day the truth will prevail, adding his party is not worried even if the Naga integration issue is not included in the impending agreement between the Union Government and some Naga groups.
He said by extending NPF party to the neighbouring states his party has established emotional integration of Naga people. “Integration of our people will become a reality one day sooner or later and we are aiming to achieve it through democratic process,” he said.
The statement of NPF has come against the backdrop of Naga negotiating parties who are likely to ink the agreement without Naga integration.
“Although the primary objective of this party on this subject is to cover the Nagas, yet this party is now embraced from non Naga communities whoever accept our principle of peace and non-violence. We are now focusing peace not only in Naga ancestral areas but in the whole northeast believing that this will be in the interest of the country as well,” the NPF president said. He said to the Nagas, NPF is more than a political party because it represents people’s aspiration, their personality and identity.
He said because of party’s commitment to the people’s welfare and their secured future, the cock is the only political party which survived in the past through thick and thin and it is the only party which will continue to survive in future also. He said the party is deeply rooted in the unique history of the Naga people.
Narrating about the formation of the cock party – the second oldest regional party in the country and first in the northeast, Shurhozelie said his party was born in the midst of blood and tears when the whole of Nagaland was virtually under the army rule. “Under the circumstances few Naga leaders even including some senior Government servants came together to find ways to defuse this horrible situation and as a result the Naga People’s Convention was formed and its first convention was held in 1957. When this body was formed to defuse the situation the Government of India, perhaps, in order to perpetuate the power of army in this area of the country in the event of changes taking place, promulgated Armed Forces Special Power Act, 1958 which was signed by the President of India on 5th April 1958,” he said.
In the meantime, he added that 16 Point Memorandum was signed between the Union Government and some members of NPC on 26th July 1960. “One wonders how the Government of India signed a memorandum without the Naga undergrounds, the main conflicting groups for whom the agreement was proposed and how the Naga leaders who have been playing the role of mediators took upon themselves the responsibility of signing the memorandum,” he asked.
Shurhozelie further said another reason for setting up cock party was that the 16 Point Memorandum failed to bring peace, but it had escalated the violent situation as such it was found necessary to form a political party to declare the need for another political settlement and pledge to work for bringing about peace and to open a new chapter for an amicable solution between the Centre and the undergrounds.
He also welcomed the wisdom of the Central Government and the Naga groups for agreeing to sign the framework agreement insisting that serious attempt should be made to bring all stakeholders to sign the agreement.
NPF Legislature party leader and former Chief Minister, TR Zeliang in his speech said Nagas are at a crucial juncture when the Indo-Naga peace talk, is on the verge of final breakthrough. He said at a crucial time it is important for all to stand together, expressing confidence that amicable solution could be hammered out. He said NPF is committed to look beyond party colours and the party’s stand is clear for all to see.
“We have played an instrumental role and vigorously pursued with the Government of India for early settlement of the Naga political problem and is not just a mere facilitator,” he said.
Highlighting about his party’s role in bringing all parties onboard the peace process, Zeliang said on 16th July 2015, Parliamentary Working Committee met Centre’s Interlocutor R N Ravi and also Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and subsequently meet several union leaders and consequently on 3rd August 2015 Framework Agreement was signed. “This was a remarkable accomplishment which needs to be kept on record by the NPF party for all times to come”.
The former Chief Minister also briefed the convention how his government initiated to bring NSCN (K) to the peace process. “We have taken this initiative with the best intention but some people misinterpreted differently,” he regretted. He also highlighted the achievements of his government during the DAN-III.
Asking the party workers to accept the facts, Zeliang said the cock party has survived through stormy and turbulent weathers because of each other’s support and asked them to remain united so as to bring the party back to power. “I am confident that there is no problem that cannot be resolved through mutual understanding and cooperation. We all know that the challenge before us is to bring back our party to power in Nagaland and for this to happen we have to set aside all our differences and restore confidence and trust in each other,” he added.
In his short speech Manipur State Unit President, Awangbow Newmai, MLA, said NPF has been vocal on Naga issue inside and outside Assembly and with this effort people have starting to change their attitude towards Naga issue.
MLA, Y M Yallow and Arunachal State Unit Working President Joddik Tali also spoke in the convention.
Thousands of NPF workers from Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh attended the convention. (Page News Service)