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SOURCE: PTI

Former Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeliang has urged the Naga people to join hands and support the negotiating groups to bring the Naga Political issue to a logical conclusion at the earliest as this is the finest time for a solution.

Zeliang, who is currently the chairman of United Democratic Alliance (UDA) said this while addressing a press conference in Chumoukedima on Monday. “At present, all the Naga negotiating groups have come together and all 60 MLAs are also together with one voice for the sake of Naga solution. So why not we all join hands and support both the negotiating groups to arrive at a logical conclusion at the earliest instead of pointing fingers at each other with political vendetta for personal vested interest,” said Zeliang.

Maintaining that the political talks between the Government of India (GoI) and NSCN (IM) are positively progressing, he said “we expect a solution sooner than later, so let us hope that GoI will bring out the common draft so that before inking the accord, it can be brought to the Naga leaders, and all concerned to also see and acknowledge if it is acceptable to us.” By any standard, Zeliang said, the negotiation is long enough, and it must have a logical conclusion.

Some principal issues which are being deliberated upon and yet to arrive at a conclusion, need to be resolved amicably at the earliest, he said.

Zeliang said that the core committee of the state government on Naga Political Issue was informed that some competency points are transitional towards a final settlement.

“With such a solution formulation process, we can keep moving forward to reach the final agreement as stated by the Prime Minister,” he said.

For the last many decades, no Prime Minister or Home Minister has come up in this manner with such a positive attitude to solve the Naga Political issue, he said, while strongly maintaining that this is the finest opportunity for both parties, the GoI and the Nagas to finally resolve the long-protracted Naga Political Issue.

“If we miss this opportunity, I am doubtful that we will be able to maintain this momentum again in the coming years and also for any Indian leader to revisit this chapter with such vigour and concern to solve the Naga Political Issue,” said Zeliang.

The Government of India (GoI) has been holding parallel peace parleys with NSCN-IM and the Working Committee of Naga National Political Groups (WC, NNPGs) comprising at least seven Naga groups.

The talks with NSCN-IM started in 1997 following the signing of a ceasefire agreement and they inked the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015.

While the WC NNPGs started separate negotiations in 2017 and signed the Agreed Position in November same year, have expressed their willingness to go ahead with a solution with whatever is possible now and continue discussing the remaining issues post solution.