GUWAHATI: Major insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (NSCN-IM) said the Nagas would not merge with the Union of India but co-exist as two entities.
“Nagas are a recognized entity. Nagas do not accept Indian constitution, but Nagas and Indians will share sovereign powers based on competencies,” the NSCN-IM, which has been negotiating with the Centre since 1997 and signed the Framework Agreement in 2015, said in a statement.
“The Nagas and the Indians are inseparably inter-related in many fields. We must learn to co-exist for mutual benefits,” the outfit said.
It insisted that both sides explore every possible way towards finding solution saying the Framework Agreement was the meeting point.
“It will be a great loss for both the parties in terms of time, labour, money and life if we miss this turn of opportunity,” the NSCN-IM said.
The Framework Agreement was believed to be the prelude to the settlement of vexed “Naga issue” or “Naga political problem”. The NSCN-IM has held around 100 rounds of peace talks with the Centre, within and outside the country, but the long-cherished solution continues to elude both sides.
They have mutually resolved all outstanding issues except for the “Naga national flag” and “yezabo” (constitution). The NSCN-IM has remained nonflexible on the demand. Given the impasse, the outfit’s chairman Q Tuccu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month on the “doubt and confusion raised by the Nagas on whether an honourable political solution could be arrived at”.
The outfit said without these issues being resolved, any solution would be far from honourable because “the Nagas’ pride and identity are deeply entrenched here”.
The NSCN-IM is the key negotiator in the Naga peace talks. Two years ago, several other groups, except the NSCN-K, had joined the process.