Guwahati, 6th October: While the Framework Agreement between the centre and NSCN (IM) was signed in 2015 and the Naga outfit is waiting for signing the final Naga peace talks agreement in past five years, NSCN (IM) Chief Th. Muivah had asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the Naga peace talks to be shifted to a third country.
In a letter sent on February 25 this year sent by Th. Muivah asked Prime Minister Modi that – “If our stay in India is no more welcome, all necessary arrangement must be made for us to leave India and the political talks be resumed in a third country.”
The NSCN (IM) leader also demanded that the Naga peace talks should resume at the highest, i.e. Prime Minister level without pre-condition and outside India in a third country.
The Naga outfit group on Monday leaked the letter sent to the Prime Minister and said that – “We deliberately withheld the letter from releasing to the media for public consumption as we waited with all confidence that the Prime Minister of India will respond positively. Today, NSCN being accountable to the Naga people hereby released the letter to inform of the delay and the lack of response from the office of the Indian Prime Minister to our people.”
In the letter sent to the Prime Minister Modi, Th. Muivah said that – “At the very outset, we are writing this letter to you because, after 22 years of political dialogue between the GoI and the NSCN, a serious deadlock has emerged on the issue of the Naga National Flag and Constitution. The NSCN agreed to start political negotiation with the Government of India (GoI) only after it recognized the Naga issue as political and stopped terming it as India’s ‘Internal Law and Order Issue’. Hence, the GoI declared that military way of solution against the Nagas was not possible. It was on account of the change in the policy of the GoI that the NSCN agreed to sit across the negotiating table. Cease-fire was officially declared on August 1, 1997 and it was agreed that the political dialogue shall be at the Highest, i.e. Prime Minister Level; Without Pre-Condition; and Outside India in a Third Country. Several rounds of talks have been held in different countries, outside India including Paris France, New York USA, The Hague Netherlands, Bangkok and Chiangmai Thailand, Zurich, Geneva, Osaka Japan, Kuala-Lumpur Malaysia, Vienna Austria, Milan Italy, New Delhi in India and Dimapur in Naga land.”
“Negotiations have taken place with various Prime Ministers of India including PV. Narashimha Rao (1995 Paris), Deve Gowda (1997 Zurich and Geneva Switzerland), AB Vajpayee (1998 Paris and 2001 Osaka) and Dr Manmohan Singh (2010 New Delhi). In 2005, a Group of Ministers was appointed for the Indo-Naga political dialogue including Mr Shivraj Patil, Union Home Minister, Mr Oscar Fernandes, Minister of State, Mr Prithviraj Chavan, MoS (PMO), Mr.S. Regupathy, MoS (Home). Special Emissaries and Representatives of the Gol have also been appointed from Mr Swaraj Kaushal, Mr.K. Padmanabhaiah, Mr.R.S. Pandey, Mr Ajit Lal to Mr RN. Ravi. With the signing of the Amsterdam Joint Communiqué of July 11, 2002, the GoI officially recognized the “Unique history and situation of the Nagas”. This official recognition of the unique history and situation of the Nagas was the first real step forward in the political negotiation. The GoI renewed its official invitation to the NSCN Leadership Chairman lsak Chishi Swu and the General Secretary and Naga Chief Negotiator Th. Muivah to come to Delhi India in December, 2002 through the Amsterdam joint Communiqué of July 11, 2002 and the subsequent MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING Dated: 18 November 2002, Milan, Italy. The MoU was in addition to a conscious decision of the GoI to discontinue the ban on the NSCN under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act. In the year 2010 during the interlocutor ship of RS. Pandey, the Gol submitted its first comprehensive official response to the NSCN in New Delhi, wherein, it proposed that the political dialogue should move forward on the principle of “Shared Sovereignty”. The subsequent outcome was the official signing of the Framework Agreement of 3rd August, 2015 in New Delhi, India during your Prime Ministership. Our late Chairman lsak Chishi Swu with your understanding had the historic opportunity to sign the Framework Agreement (FA) from his sickbed at the Fortis hospital in New Delhi. We appreciated your statesmanship and your testimonial statement that, everything is possible through negotiation and mutual respect. We also have faith that the good Lord will bless your leadership and give you the wisdom to fulfil the divine task entrusted to you to usher in permanent peace in the region through the conclusion of an acceptable and honourable political solution between India and the Naga people,” said in the letter.
“In view of concluding a lasting and acceptable and honourable political agreement as per the principle of the FA, we had mentioned in our proposal that, “Nagaland shall use it’s National Flag, Anthem, Emblem and Insignia”. We also have proposed that, “This Agreement shall constitute a constitution which shall be called Yehzabo, covering the areas of its own competencies“. Our proposal is not a demand, neither does it in any way deviate from officially agreed FA. Without any ambiguity, it mentions that as per the universal democratic principle “sovereignty lies with the people” and the peaceful co-existence of the two entities shall be through the sharing of sovereign power. An acceptable political solution can be achieved only through respect for a people’s history and their national identity. Nagas are not lost people and if India respects our history, we will respect India ten times more. The mutually agreed competencies and the recognition of the two core issues are based on the FA, therefore, it does not undermine the security or integrity of India. It is, therefore, imperative that the principle of FA must be taken to its logical conclusion through the recognition of the Naga National Flag and Constitution,” said in the letter sent to the PM Modi.
“We believe that the PMO Representative of the GoI, RN. Ravi must be briefing you on the progress of the political negotiation with the NSCN. That through this representation, we wish to inform you that most of the important issues or competencies are already resolved and as mentioned the only remaining issue is Naga Flag and Constitution. Today, we also bring to your notice some matters of serious concern regarding the activities of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and its Agencies including NIA and Assam Rifles. As you are well aware, 22 years of political negotiation had started at the Highest, i.e. Prime Minister Level; Without Pre-Condition; and Outside India in a Third Country. And we had come to India on the invitation of the Gol. However, we are totally shocked and surprised that even after more than two decades of political negotiation, the MHA and its Agencies have become obnoxious. It has come as a total shock and surprise that the GoI has started branding and accusing the members of the NSCN who are in political negotiation as “terrorist” and with impunity they are arresting the members of the organization. The activities of the MHA are deliberate and calculated policies of the GoI to downgrade the political negotiation to “India’s internal law and order issue”. The Nagas are observing a repeat of the militarization and a consciously carried out state terrorism in the Naga areas and against the Naga people through a show of force, arrest and allegation against NSCN members for “terror funding”, imposing check gates, frequent raids, using jet fighters and tanks. The design and intent of the MHA and its Agencies are unjustifiable and a serious provocation that goes against the principle and spirit of the political negotiation and the FA. The activities of the PMO Representative of the GoI after his appointment as the Governor of Nagaland has become a matter of great concern as he is consciously functioning within the law and order purview of the Constitution of India. It is a deliberate deviation from his appointment as the Representative of the GoI for the Indo-Naga peace talks. The activities of the Representative of the GoI is polarizing the Naga society instead of uniting the Nagas for an honourable political solution. This can be observed from the activities of the Representative of the GoI who is segregating the Naga civil society and meeting only a certain section of the Naga society who are not committed to genuine political solution and who do not represent the genuine aspiration of the Naga people,” said in the letter.
The act of the representative of the GoI undermines the sanctity of the FA, the signing of which was witnessed by the important leaders of India including the Prime Minister. We need not remind the GoI that such action of the Representative of the GoI will certainly be another Himalayan blunder while dealing with the Indo-Naga issue. The NSCN also had exercised much restraint against the systematic ultimatum issued by the Representative of the Gol since July, 2019, which was repeated again during the talks on 31st October, 2019. The representative of the GoI has acted very irresponsible and disrespectful to the Naga talk team during the talks on 30th January, 2020 in Dimapur, Nagaland referring to the NSCN proposal submitted on 18th January, 2020 as, “stupid and contaminated. I will not take cognizance of this draft proposal. I think you have submitted this document by mistake.” After the political talks of 30th January, 2020, the Representative of the GoI has again given an ultimatum to the NSCN through an Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer stating, “The next date of the meeting will be fixed after NSCN submits its draft proposal as was told to them in the meeting dated 30th January, 2020”. This calls for an official clarification from the GoI as to whether it is the individual action of the Representative of the GoI or it has been done under the directive of the GoI. The behaviour of the Representative of the GoI towards the Nagas is totally unacceptable. History has shown that Nagas have not taken lightly with any insults hit on them which has led to the decade’s old Indo-Naga conflict that is yet to be resolved. The “politics of fear” against the Naga people which the GoI and MHA have sanctioned on the Nagas is having a serious ramification that is undermining the ongoing political dialogue. The latest episode of the MHA which has through a missive to the Nagaland Government questioned our presence in Dimapur, Nagaland (MHA Letter No. 9/1/2007-T dated February 11, 2020) has become a matter of serious concern to the NSCN and the Nagas. We have come to India on the invitation of the GoI and we are in Nagaland to meet our own Naga people vis-a-vis the peace process. If the MHA is trying to stop us from meeting our own people, then, their negative intent against the peace process has become very clear. We are seriously concerned with this state of affairs created by the MHA and its Agencies and the Representative of the GoI for the Indo-Naga peace talks. If pragmatic political decisions are not taken by the Gol, then, we have no doubt that the serious concerns mentioned above is already jeopardizing the political peace process between the GoI and the NSCN. We do not demand anything from India, but the Naga people should have our God-given share here on earth. The GoI and the NSCN have negotiated for 22 years and it is within the plan and will of the Lord God Almighty that there should be an acceptable and honourable political solution of the two entities. We, the NSCN and the Nagas, are prepared for an honourable solution. However, if India or the BJP led NDA government is not prepared and be ready to let the Nagas have their share of an honourable and acceptable political solution. On the official invitation of the GoI, we first arrived in India in 2002 and after our subsequent visits, we have since 2010 patiently stayed in India to conclude an acceptable and honourable political settlement. As mentioned, several rounds of talks with the Prime Ministers of India and the Representatives of the GoI have already been completed and the unique outcome was the signing of the Framework While the Framework Agreement between the centre and NSCN (IM) was signed in 2015 and the Naga outfit is waiting for signing the final Naga peace talks Agreement on August 3, 2015. However, in the given circumstances and in order to save the political dialogue, the talks should resume at the Highest, i.e. Prime Minister Level; Without Pre-Condition; and Outside India in a Third Country. And if our stay in India is no more welcome, all necessary arrangement must be made for us to leave India and the political talks be resumed in a third country,” said in the letter.