Prime minister Narendra Modi along with NSCN-IM leaders in 2015 Credit: File photo

Kohima: As the issue of the Naga flag and constitution (Yehzabo) becomes the “focus” of the ongoing peace talks between the Centre and the Naga negotiating groups, the NSCN-IM said that having a separate discussion on these issues will “not [be] in sync with the Framework Agreement”.

The group on Friday said that it has become an “exigent concern to dwell deeper on Framework Agreement lest reckless interpretation comes into play to find an escape route”.

NSCN-IM recalled that the unique history and situation of the Nagas was recognized by the Centre on July 11, 2002 which marks a “political milestone in the Indo-Naga political negotiations”.

The group said that prior or post the declaration of the Naga Independence on August 14, 1947, Nagas has never taken a single step to join the Union of India–either by conquest or consent. “NSCN respect GoI for accepting historical fact to take forward the Indo-Naga political talks to a meaningful level”, the group said.

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According to the NSCN-IM, the government of India accepted the universal principle that in democracy “sovereignty” lies with the people. It said that the Naga people exercised sovereign option on May 16, 1951 when the Naga National Council (NNC) conducted the Naga plebiscite where 99.99 % voted in favour of sovereign Naga independence.

“Respecting each other’s position, shared sovereignty was defined in the competencies. Accordingly, how certain part of Naga sovereignty and vice versa was to be shared with the union of India was defined in the competencies,” the group said.

The NSCN-IM expressed confidence that the Centre will provide for an enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful coexistence of the two entities. It claimed that in the talks that followed, an understanding was reached that “enduring inclusive” was for lasting relationship of all the Nagas including other factions to be included in the Framework Agreement.

The group said that “New relationship” implied that “old relation of violent confrontation will end once for all” and the new relationship of two entities pertains to “peaceful coexistence of the two entities”.

It added “The Framework Agreement is not far off for any layman to understand, that the identity of one is not dismissed, lost or demeaned in any manner that defines peaceful coexistence of two entities. We have stoutly defended our political identity”.

Saying that the Framework Agreement speaks of unique history of the Naga people and sovereign independence identity which embraces the flag and constitution, the NSCN-IM said that there is “no scope provided to have separate talk on Naga flag and constitution”.

“By having separate talk on flag and constitution, GoI is sending a wrong signal that is not in sync with the Framework Agreement. GoI should not undo its commitment and backtrack from the Framework Agreement by distorting what has been agreed upon,” said NSCN-IM.

The NSCN-IM alleged that the appointment of the interlocutor RN Ravi as Nagaland state Governor is “believed to have been deliberately done with the sinister design to undo his own signature from the Framework Agreement”.

It said that NSCN-IM is “committed to stick to Framework Agreement to solve Indo-Naga political issue”. It goes on to say that the sticking point is that, in total contradiction with the Framework Agreement, Ravi “gave misleading report to the Parliamentary Standing Committee” that are not “connected with any agreement with the NSCN Negotiating team” which “have now become the source of soreness in the Indo-Naga political talks”.

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