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SOURCE: HT

The recently notified parliamentary core committee on Naga political issue, which includes all-party elected representatives from Nagaland, held its maiden meeting on Friday in Dimapur and made an appeal to the negotiating parties of the Indo-Naga Political dialogue to resume the peace talks with a positive approach of mutual respect by setting aside pre-conditions in the greater interest of the people, HT has learnt.

The committee appealed to all Naga political groups to make serious efforts for reconciliation. “The constant antagonism against each other, especially in public space and the media is sending out a wrong message to the masses considering the fact that we are all pursuing the same aspiration of peace and political solution,” stated committee’s member secretary Neiba Kronu.

The committee was of the view that the Naga armed groups should take a positive cue from the elected members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly, who have risen above party affiliations to unite for the vexed Naga political issue, and listen to the voice of the people for unity and oneness.

The core committee further agreed to approach the Naga negotiating groups to come together in order to hammer out their differences and create a common approach for “One Solution and One Agreement”.

“All Members of the Core Committee and the Parliamentary Committee on Naga Political Issue, including the two Members of Parliament, have come together under the same banner in line with the election manifestos of all political parties and commit to the people that the elected members are prepared to pave the way as and when an inclusive, honourable and acceptable solution is arrived at,” stated a note of the meeting resolution signed by Kronu.

Meanwhile, the committee, while appreciating the constant role and contributions of the churches, civil society and NGOs towards facilitating peace and strengthening the peace process, appealed to the mass-based organizations and tribal bodies to make renewed efforts towards creating a conducive atmosphere for early realisation of a political solution by pursuing unity, reconciliation and oneness.

The parliamentary committee comprises of all the 60 members of the Nagaland Legislative Assembly and the two Members of Parliament from Nagaland to act as a facilitator in the ongoing peace talks between the Centre and Naga armed groups, while the parliamentary core committee is led by

chief minister Neiphiu Rio and deputy chief minister Y Patton and opposition leader TR Zeliang are co-conveners.

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) entered into a ceasefire agreement with the government of India in 1997 and the two have been holding political dialogues since then, while a conglomeration of seven different Naga national political groups (NNPGs) also got into separate talks with the centre since 2017.

The Centre had signed a “framework agreement” with NSCN (IM) in 2015, and an “agreed position” with the NNPGs in 2017. However, the NSCN (IM)’s demand for a separate Naga flag and constitution has been a delaying factor in signing a final deal on the protracted Naga political issue. The peace talks were suspended in April due to the prevailing Covid-19 related situation and are yet to be resumed.