The NSCN-IM on Sunday claimed that negotiation (with the Government of India) is meaningless if it cannot deliver a solution to the Naga political problem. NSCN-IM general secretary Th Muivah said Nagas are looking for an issue-based solution and not imposition of the Centre’s will.
A framework agreement was signed between the Centre and the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) in 2015 after over 80 rounds of negotiations since a ceasefire pact was sealed in 1997 to solve the decades-old problem. The final solution is still elusive as NSCN-IM has been persistent in its demand for a separate flag and constitution for the Naga people.
Nagas are looking for peace, but peace without freedom is wishful thinking, Muivah said. Indeed, we are for agreement, but it would be a form without content if it cannot bring a solution, he said.
He was speaking at an event in Hebron on the outskirts of Dimapur. Noting that the NSCN-IM has been in ceasefire with the Government of India for 25 years now, Muivah said we see no meaning in the ceasefire that does not embark upon political negotiation the NSCN-IM does not see any meaning in negotiation if it cannot deliver solution.
Stating that all the past agreements (with the Government of India) were not a solution to the problem because they betrayed the Naga national principle, Muivah said the Nagas are looking for an issue-based solution. “We are opposed to the imposition of Indian will on the Nagas,” he added.
He said if the Centre imposes its will, the Naga people need to work out a survival strategy and they must stay on the course. “The Naga flag and constitution are indivisible parts of the recognised sovereignty and unique history. We believe that Indian leaders too understand it. The ball is now in the court of the Government of India to make the right move and to fulfill the commitment given to the Nagas,” said Muivah.
In Kohima, the Naga National Council (NNC) celebrated the day at Chedema village ground in the presence of NNC president Adino Phizo. NNC is the community’s parent political organisation. Seeking self-rule, the NNC had announced independence a day ahead of India in 1947.
The Naga Students’ Federation, an apex body of Naga students in Assam, Arunachal, Manipur, and Nagaland, also observed the day at Parashen, the place where the Naga flag was first hoisted on March 22, nORT1956. After the Independence of India in 1947, the area which comprises the state now remained a part of the province of Assam. Nagaland became the 16th state of India on 1 December 1963.