GOI backtracking on its commitments: NSCN (IM)

Delhi based students from Nagaland stage a protest march demanding solution to the issue of Naga peace talks, and a decision on the framework agreement, in New Delhi. (PTI Photo)

National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Issac Muivah) on Saturday charged that Centre was trying to twist and backtrack on its commitments after 22 years of negotiation to find a solution to the decades-long Naga conflict.

The Naga rebel group, which held a meeting with the Centre in New Delhi on Thursday, however, reiterated its firmness on its core demands for separate flag and Constitution for the Nagas.

"After 22 years long intensive negotiations, the Government of India have now started trying to twist and backtrack on their commitments and words so that the hard-earned Framework Agreement is nullified on any pretext. It is surprising to see that the Government of India is trying to hijack the outcome of the talks by using a section of people who are not mandated and do not represent the Naga people and the Naga national issue," the outfit said in a statement emailed to DH on Saturday.

Naga groups including NSCN (IM) do not consider Nagas to be part of India and have fought an armed fight till it signed a ceasefire with the Centre in 1997. After years of negotiation, the NSCN (IM) signed a framework agreement with the Narendra Modi government in August 2015, which accepted the Nagas problem as a unique one.

NSCN (IM) said Nagas would never merge with India but agreed to "share sovereignty" given the complications involved in finding a permanent solution.

Modi government wanted to wrap up the negotiation by November for signing a final agreement. But according to observers, NSCN-IM's insistent on separate flag and Constitution and the Centre's denial of the same has cast a shadow on the possibility of signing of the final agreement soon.

"The BJP government under the leadership of the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi took a bold and positive step where it recognizes the sovereignty of the Nagas stating, in keeping with the universal principle of democracy, the sovereignty of the Nagas lies with the Naga people. It also states inclusive durable peaceful ‘co-existence of the two entities’ based on the principle of ‘shared-sovereignty. The Naga national flag is the symbol of the recognized Naga entity. The Constitution of 

the Nagas is the booking form of the recognized sovereignty and mutually agreed on competencies," it said.

"It should be understood that any proposed solution that betrays the Naga national issue will be but a repetition of the past mistakes," the statement said.

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