Kohima: The NSCN-IM on Wednesday remarked that the “serious deadlock” on the Naga political issue after more than two decades of political dialogue is a matter of “diplomatic error”.

Acknowledging that the deadlock on the peace talks has emerged on the issue of the Naga national flag and Constitution (Yehzabo), the group said that the flag and Constitution cannot be “put on the bargaining table in exchange for anything”.

“The Naga national identity, symbolised by the Naga flag and Constitution, cannot be sacrificed,” the group said in a statement.

According to the NSCN-IM, the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks at the highest level between the Government of India (GoI) and the group is without pre-conditions, and have the mandate of the Naga Hoho, the Naga tribal hohos and the Naga civil society organisations.

Reiterating that the Indo-Naga political talk is carried based on two entities (nations/governments), NSCN-IM said flags that represent the national identity of India and Nagalim is the “natural picture to be seen in any Indo-Naga political talks”.

It added that the “inadvertent lapse has been misconstrued” by the Centre is creating “unnecessary obstruction by making an issue out of it.”

The Nagas cannot be insulted by being asked to stand by the Indian national flag at the cost of dishonouring the Naga national flag, which defines the Naga political identity as a nation.

“This is the crux of the issue that the Naga people simply cannot compromise. It would be unjustified for the GoI to make a roughshod of the unique history of the Nagas that it has given official recognition,” it added.

The group said that as Nagaland was placed under the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) only in the 1970s, it signifies that “Nagaland was never a part of India by any agreement”.

Furthermore, NSCN-IM added that as Nagaland was forcefully occupied, India continues to suppress the political rights of the Naga people by placing the Naga areas under the draconian Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA).

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