WC-NNPGS: Indo-Naga political talks concluded, not deadlocked

DIMAPUR, DECEMBER 7 (MExN): The Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (WC-NNPGs) has taken exception to the remark made by Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, which appeared in a section of the local dailies on November 30, purportedly stating there is apparent “deadlock in the ongoing Naga political talks.” 

Media cell, WC-NNPGs in a press statement has termed this statement coming from the Chief Minister as “misleading and a disservice to the people of Nagaland” while pointing out that the then Governor, the constitutional head, had announced in the floor of the Assembly in 2021, that political negotiations with all negotiators had concluded. 

The WC-NNPGs upheld that the position of Government of India (GoI) is clear in its commitment “towards ushering in honorable and acceptable solution to the Naga people at the earliest.” And, “whether the GoI officially conveyed to the CM that the talks are deadlocked, is for him to clarify to the people as a facilitator,” it stated adding that a deadlock will result in one or all parties abrogating the ceasefire abandon designated camps and resuming the struggle.

The WC-NNPGs also maintained that a solid foundation has been laid through Agreed Position on November 17, 2017 and all possible political and administrative realignments have been dealt through intense negotiations, entrenching Naga history and identity at the core. 

Further, asserting that Nagas are physically and mentally prepared for Indo-Naga political agreement to begin an enduring peaceful co-existence, the WC urged the Nagaland CM, who having pledged to uphold and defend the Indian constitution, “to avoid indulging in insensitive passive political innuendos which pleases only anti-Naga solution elements in the IM from Manipur state.”

“Generalizing Naga issue as deadlocked is uncalled for. He must ensure a legacy of straight talk, insist on practical, honorable and acceptable political solution,” it stated. 

It also stated that on October 13, 2021, in New Delhi, the Chief Minister and his Cabinet colleagues briefed the WC-NNPGs delegation that “United Democratic Alliance's (UDA) first real achievement was removing RN Ravi from gubernatorial role in Nagaland, to ensure that the Indo-Naga political issue would be resolved at the earliest.” Two years down the line, the facilitators are yet to prove themselves and exhibit genuine practical intent to the Naga people, it stated. 

The WC-NNPGs, meanwhile, alleged that while the negotiated Political matters between GoI and WC-NNPGs are firmly on the table of the former, awaiting final settlement, the “activities of NSCN (IM) leaders going all out to prolong and sabotage the political solution has become obvious.” 

It also stated that the “Nagaland Chief Minister is aware that every month NSCN (IM) leadership, mainly from Manipur state, continue to shuttle comfortably between Hebron Designated camp and Indian MP designate bungalow in Lodhi Estate, New Delhi, ever cursing Nagaland state and its founding pioneers.” 

It therefore asked the “non-Nagaland Nagas in NSCN (IM) wanting to prolong and avoid Naga political solution to honestly share their problem to the rest of Nagas as brothers and sisters instead of blaming Nagaland state founders or indulging in threats.” The term 'deadlock' is a poor substitute to overwhelming cry for Naga solution, it added. 

Over the issue of Article 371 (A), the WC maintained that this solely exists for Nagaland state and “unless driven by extreme jealousy, why would Manipur Nagas or other Nagas cry hoarse over it when Nagas of Nagaland, the real owner, deems it as having unique sovereign power over land and resources?”

The WC-NNPGs said there is a dire need of a political will on the part of GoI to announce a political agreement with the Nagas basing on the official announcement on October 31, 2019 with negotiating entities. 

“A new relationship and a fresh beginning must be initiated with the Nagas. A powerful hope and dream; of co-existence and enduring peace, must be given to future Naga generations. This is what WC-NNPGs negotiated for.”