Framework Agreement is only the beginning: Zeliang

Framework Agreement is only the beginning: Zeliang

•    Nagaland CM ready to step down if acceptable & honourable solution is found
•    Says Naga customary & land holding system will be respected by Centre
•    Naga issue to be resolved by sharing of power between GoI and Naga people


New Delhi, August 9 (IANS/PTI): Nagaland Chief Minister TR Zeliang on Sunday said the Naga peace pact signed between the government and the NSCN (IM) was just the formula to end decades of conflict in the state.


“After meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, I have come to know that the Naga accord is just the formula to settle the Naga conflict. It is just the beginning of the solution,” Zeliang told reporters Sunday in New Delhi.


The CM stressed on the need to solve the issue permanently, which would be possible only if there was no “political influence”. “It is important that the settlement made is keeping in mind the Naga cultural system and based on their unique history. It is important that there is no political influence in the entire issue.”


Zeliang further informed: “A delegation of 16 members from the civil society will meet NSCN (K) and, if required, the other factions too and try to persuade them to join the peace talks. The delegation consists of Naga Hoho, the apex body of all the Naga community, and one more group. They have been given the security clearance by the home ministry to travel to Myanmar and hold talks with the NSCN (K), which has significant presence in Nagaland.”


“I along with all members of the Nagaland Assembly are ready to step down, if an acceptable and honourable solution is found to the Naga people, in order to make a new beginning,” the CM further said. He stated that the final result of the Naga Accord was expected by the end of this year.


He also said that allegations by Nagaland’s neighbouring states that they were not consulted over the Naga accord were false and they were all aware of it. “There is a difference between active participation and consultation. Consultation with the Northeastern states was very much there before signing the Naga accord,” he said.


Asserting that the agreement will not affect non-Nagas and will resolve the problems of the North East, Zeliang said that he will speak to other chief ministers of the region.


“The pact signed by Centre and NSCN (IM) will help bring peace to the North-East. I will speak personally to my counterparts of neighbouring states to allay their apprehensions over the agreement,” Zeliang said.


“Solving the Naga problem is solving the problems of the North-East. Non-Nagas of the North-East should not have any negative thinking about the pact,” he added.


Zeliang said what he understood after meeting Modi and Home Minister Rajnath Singh was that the Naga political problem will be resolved through sharing of power between the government of India and the Naga people.


Highlighting aspects of the formula, he said Naga customary system and land holding system will be respected by the Centre based on the “unique history of Nagas” and will be applied across the Naga inhabited areas of the North East, including Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. “This Naga issue does not pertain to only Nagaland. Naga problem is covering the entire Naga contiguous region. So, respecting the traditional land holding system, customary system, it covers the entire Naga (community) wherever they are…,” he said.


Zeliang will meet the Naga peace talks interlocutor RN Ravi on August 16.