Nagaland hopeful of positive outcome

KOHIMA, Nov 1: Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio has claimed a “breakthrough” in the ongoing negotiations to resolve the state’s decades-old insurgency problem, even through the Centre has asserted it is yet to conclude the talks and will consult all stakeholders before finalizing any settlement.
The union home ministry on Thursday had said that lot of rumours and misinformation is being spread that the final Naga settlement has been arrived at and will be announced soon.
“This is creating anxiety and concern in some parts of the country. It is clarified that before any settlement is arrived
at with Naga groups, all stakeholders including states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh will be duly consulted and their concerns will be taken into consideration. No credence needs to be given to such rumours and incorrect information,” the MHA statement said.
Rio, Deputy Chief Minister Y Patton and opposition leader TR Zeliang expressed appreciation for the negotiating parties’ agreeing to remain onboard for a final settlement.
Various Naga civil societies and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG), a conglomerate of seven organisations which is holding separate talks with the Centre, expressed hope that the final settlement would be achieved after thorough consultation with all stakeholders.
“It is a historic moment and an occasion of great joy for all Nagas and the nation as a whole. Peace will now pave the way for genuine progress and true nation-building,” Rio said in a tweet.
Extending deepest appreciation to the negotiating parties for the “historic breakthrough,” he thanked Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Home Minister Amit Shah “for the political will and concern for the Naga people.”
He also congratulated the Centre’s interlocutor and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi, the NSCN (IM) and the NNPG for their efforts, and lauded the civil societies, mass-based organisations, NGOs, churches and the Naga people for their support and prayers.
The working committee of the NNPG also joined the bandwagon in appreciating the efforts of the union government and the NSCN (IM).
In a statement, it said “the NNPG believes that the NSCN (IM) leadership has opted for peace and adopted a practical and realistic approach in arriving at a conclusion of negotiations by acceptance the reality the time.”
A press release issued by its media cell said that in the course of negotiations between the NNPG and the union government, the latter had also endorsed the usage of the Naga emblem/flag specifically for cultural identity within the Naga homeland.
“The Naga flag is a political symbol and cannot be confined to socio-cultural activities. Therefore, together in one voice, Nagas would pursue it politically and democratically. The flag, since the dawn of Naga political consciousness, has ever been an expression of our political identity and aspirations,” it stated.
Naga Mothers Association president Abei-ii Meru said “We were all praying for everyone to be on board.”
K Elu Ndang, general secretary of the Naga Hoho, also expressed hope for a mutual understanding between the two negotiating parties. (PTI)