From Framework Agreement to joint statement Making good progress


Closer than ever to a final settlement. This is the joint statement issued by NSCN (IM) general secretary Th Muivah and Government of India Interlocutor to the ongoing peace talk between the outfit and Delhi, RN Ravi. Maybe this is the first time that an Interlocutor to the peace talk and the top leader of the outfit have issued a joint statement to the press and there is something refreshing about this. A sure indication that the peace process between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) has come a long way since the ceasefire pact was signed on August 1, 1997. From the Framework Agreement last year to now a joint statement asserting that a final settlement is at hand and surely Modi’s Government seems to be working with a purpose to bring a settlement to the decades old Naga insurgency. What is more, the joint statement also made it a point to claim that the efforts to resolve the Naga political issue has received a new urgency and impetus during the last two years. Remember the BJP led NDA Government stormed to power in 2014, that is two years back. This may be a political statement, a statement that the BJP is more inclined to work out a solution than the Congress Government, and this may be seen in the observation, ‘In the last two years, we met more times than all the years before. It helped in building unprecedented mutual understanding and trust.’
So Delhi and the NSCN (IM) are close to working out a final settlement. This is welcome but it is also important for Delhi to keep in mind that while working out a solution with the NSCN (IM), it should not give rise to other issues. Already Arunachal Pradesh, Assam and particularly Manipur have made it clear that any solution inked with the NSCN (IM) should not disturb their territories. A stand which has been made very clear earlier and one just has to recollect how Delhi, then again under the BJP led NDA Government had to roll back the phrase, ‘without territorial limits’ in the cease fire pact, after Manipur erupted in violence in 2001. The June 18 uprising is still observed to this day and the martyrs park at Kekrupat stands as the testimony to how the people here are ready to walk the extra mile to nullify anything that pose a threat to the territorial integrity of the State. Delhi had on more than one occasion sought to play down the threat perception to the territories of the three States neighbouring Nagaland, but what has given more urgency to the matter is the announcement of the Kilo Kilonser of the NSCN (IM) Rh Raising that ‘integration of all Naga territories is a natural necessity, not  a choice’ in his Naga Independence Day speech on August 14. It is this which will be watched keenly by the three States, more particularly Manipur.


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