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Delay in final Naga Political pact rattles Nagaland Tribes Council

A file picture of Prime Minister Narendra Modi with NSCN I-M chief Th Muivah.

“As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister of India, Sri. Narendra Modi, during his maiden visit to Nagaland on 1.12.2015 made the promise that the Naga Political Issue would be resolved within 18 months’ time has gone into oblivion”, observed NTC.

 By Imna Longchar, TFM Nagaland Correspondent

Nagaland Tribes Council (NTC) is rattled by the inordinate delay in arriving at a final Naga political solution that has become “the bane of the miseries of the common man” in the state.

NTC also accused the government of India of having “tendencies to be overwhelmed by the concocted assessments and disinformation fed by its agencies with ulterior motives”.

A press note issued by NTC media cell said that the state based tribal body is badly perturbed by the “thick cloud of uncertainties being cast over the fate of the political negotiations between the GoI and the two groups of the Naga political negotiators, namely, NSCN (I-M) and the WC, 7 NNPGs despite the peace process being in its 25th year”

NTC recalled that NSCN (I-M) entered into a ceasefire pact with the government of India in 1997 followed by the signing of the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015 and the armed political outfit had also already observed the Silver Jubilee year of the ceasefire in 2022.

“And as for the WC, 7 NNPGs, the negotiation began in October, 2017 and signed the Agreed Position with the GoI on the 17.11.2017 and now it is in its 5th year. Against this backdrop, though the GoI may or may not consider it to be a serious concern, the quarter of a century ‘peace process’ has immense toll on the life of the citizens in Nagaland”, said NTC.

“The Parliamentary Standing Committee report on both the Houses of Parliament vide Report No. 213 quote: “TWO HUNDRED THIRTEEN REPORT, SECURITY SITUATION IN THE NORTH EASTERN STATES OF INDIA (PRESENTED TO RAJYA SABHA ON 19TH JULY 2018), (LAID ON THE TABLE OF LOK SABHA ON 19TH JULY 2018)” The subject matter pertains to early conclusion of the peace talks. Quote: “… The Committee therefore, strongly recommends that the Government should conclude the peace talks, at the earliest, based on a broad understanding over the most contentious issues…” However, during the last five years, the Naga Political issues could not come up for discussion in the Parliament. The Elected representatives, particularly from Nagaland in both the Houses of Parliament and in the State Assembly did take little interest to pursue the long cherished solution to the Naga political issue”, said NTC.

NTC also urged government of India to draw attention to the prevailing situation in the State of Nagaland and stated that the general public in Nagaland have been the ultimate victim of “the unabated and multiple illegal taxations, all kinds of suppressive and anti-people activities of the selfish authorities”. The tribal body said that the “armed elements alike under the signed ceasefires during the last 25 years have virtually destroyed everything both in public and private sectors. The worst victims are the educated youth and the tens of thousands of the school dropouts”.  In fact, the State of Nagaland, the second oldest State in the NE India has gone backward by 25 years in terms of progress and prosperity as proved by the progress of the other 9 years younger States in the NE have developed to become quotable model States in India, observed NTC.

“Why this stagnation and backwardness despite being funded lavishly by the Union Government? Because particularly all through these 25 years period of political negotiations, the unscrupulous elements have transformed the State of Nagaland into their private goldmines. These elements, both state authorities and armed elements have taken undue advantages on the gullible general public and their facilities with vengeance. Thus, Nagaland was made to be the safest haven for the exploiters in India”, said NTC.

The Nagaland based tribal body also said that it has been vocal for the deliverance of Nagaland from “total perishment” and added that it was aware that “the sole remedial measure for the existing ailment of Nagaland is the Naga Political Solution. The NTC is apprehensive that the consequences of the further delay of solution or the fiasco will be disastrous”, said the release.

NTC also accused the government of India and the United Democratic Alliance (UDA) in the state of being having “apathetic and lackadaisical attitude towards sincere conclusion of the peace process though the official negotiations were completed by the 31st October, 2019”.

“As a matter of fact, the Prime Minister of India, Sri. Narendra Modi, during his maiden visit to Nagaland on 1.12.2015 made the promise that the Naga Political Issue would be resolved within 18 months’ time has gone into oblivion. It is observed that the GoI has tendencies to be overwhelmed by the concocted assessments and disinformation fed by its agencies with ulterior motives. Secondly, no matter how BJP tries to be evasive about pacification of the public in Nagaland by the then BJP Secretary Sri. Ram Madhav in 2018 that the State election would be for solution has become a shameful betrayal”, said NTC.

The tribal council claimed that the government of India had officially invited both the NSCN (I-M) and the WC, NNPGs to negotiating tables. The Naga negotiators believed in the “determination and sincerity of the GoI and thus the processes of negotiations had already been successfully completed under the Interlocutor-ship of Sri. RN Ravi”. “Thus, definitely the ball is now in the court of the GoI, and it is time for the Union Govt. to make it or unmake it without keeping the people of Nagaland in suspense any longer”, added the NTC.

NTC also said that it felt “aghast” at the way the UDA government has been facilitating the peace process all through these years. “Quoting the statement of Mr. Chingwang Konyak, President of NDPP which appeared in local papers dated 11.8.2022 “….declared that they (MLAs) would not stand on the way for solution of the problem.” (from the concluding para) is vitiated. The proof is that on the 16th July, 2022, the Political Core Committee on Naga Political Issue (PCCoNPI) adopted 4 points resolution which was widely circulated and published in the local media was found scuttled and allowed it to die a premature death”, said the tribal council.

“The reason for such sabotage was better known to the PCCoNPI. It is obvious that the UDA is hell bent against solution and the very resolution was too positive to pursue and therefore had to be shelved lest should it be furnished to GoI, it would be considered to be a vital material for solution. Nevertheless, the UDA knows that lest its anti-solution stance be camouflaged with theoretical and theatrical innuendos for solution, it would be costly in the long run”, said NTC.

NTC pointed that that the Chief Minister of Nagaland’s focus on the next Assembly election to superimpose the urgent political solution was “nothing but the ploy to demean the peaceful process”. It said that the opinion of the NDPP President that the MLAs were to resign from their posts after sealing the pact implies that “the MLAs have refused to pave the way”. “Thus, the activities of UDA remained obvious that it frantically hobnobs with those forces- both armed and civil elements to derail solution is the greatest sabotage of peace and betrayal of the people in Nagaland”, asserted NTC.

NTC urged upon the government of India resolve the issue at the earliest without inhibition. It assured that the people are “ever ready to have the solution and also ever prepared to handle should there be any consequences”.

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