Nagas say no deal on separate flag

Guwahati: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) has regretted the “slow progress” in the peace talks and clarified that there cannot be a honourable solution to the Naga peace process without a separate “flag and constitution”.

In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was released to the media in Dimapur, the NSCN (I-M), the first Naga outfit with which the government had initiated peace talks, said, “The government of India is going slow in taking a stand on core issues. This changing situation and other developments compels NSCN chairperson Q. Tuccu and general secretary Th. Muivah to write a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the doubt and confusion raised by the Naga people if an honourable political solution can be arrived at.”

Pointing out that the 22-year-old peace process received official recognition of the unique history and situation of the Nagas when the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, the outfit said that three years had passed since the Framework Agreement was signed but there had been no headway.

Though the NSCN (I-M) did bring in reference to the scrapping of Article 370, thereby withdrawing the arrangement of a state flag and Constitution in Jammu & Kashmir, it said, “This is in reference to the core issues like the Naga flag and the Constitution, which are yet to be agreed upon between the two parties. Without these two core issues solved, any solution would be far from honourable because Nagas’ pride and identity is deeply entrenched here.”

The NSCN (I-M) said that it observed that Mr R.N. Ravi, who is now holding the dual post of Nagaland Governor and Naga talks interlocutor, was speaking with much stronger passion to solve the Naga political problem that has hung on for too long.

Referring to the journey to what they call the “Indo-Naga political talks” spanning over 22 years, the NSCN (I-M) said that the government of India had done a great job by assuring the Nagas that they deserved a solution, which should be “honourable and acceptable”. It said that by giving official recognition to the unique history and situation of the Nagas, the government had taken the correct step in this direction.

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