NEW DELHI: A 16-member delegation will soon be visiting Myanmar to meet S S Khaplang, chief of the NSCN(K), said Nagaland Chief Minister T R Zeilang, who also indicated that the new peace accord would allow for the traditional Naga landholding system to be applied to areas outside the state.
“Whether in Assam, or Arunachal or Manipur, Naga people are living in their own land and they want some kind of autonomy or more power to strengthen their rights and their customary system. I think non-Nagas should not have any negative thinking about this,” he told mediapersons here on Sunday.
Zeilang said the Ministry of Home Affairs had given clearance to the 16-member delegation to to meet Khaplang, a Myanmar national. The NSCN(K) was behind the ambush on the Army in Manipur killing 18 soldiers, which led to a special forces operation on the militants’ camps near the India-Myanmar border. Zeilang’s latest remarks were the most detailed yet about the accord signed by the Indian government’s interlocutor, N Ravi, and the NSCN(IM)’s T Muivah on August 3. The Centre hasn’t revealed the details of the deal, except that it is a framework within which a final agreement is still being negotiated.
“The Naga issue does not pertain only to Nagaland. The Naga problem is covering the entire Naga contiguous region. So, when we say it would respect the traditional landholding system, the customary system, it would cover the entire Naga (community) wherever they are...,” he said.
The Chief Minister said that the accord was only a “formula” for the final pact but noted that it would impact the entire northeastern region.In his statement on August 3, Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned that the “unique history” of the Nagas would be recognised. The NSCN(IM)’s original demand had been that a greater Nagalim with parts of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh be created.