Assam, Manipur, Arunachal to be consulted before Naga pact: Govt

NEW DELHI, Nov 19: The Centre on Tuesday said the governments of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal will be duly consulted before the final settlement of the decades-old Naga insurgency problem.
Union MoS for Home, G Kishan Reddy, told the Lok Sabha that there has been considerable progress in the ongoing Naga peace talks and almost all the Naga underground groups are engaged with the central government in the peace process.
“All stakeholders, including the states of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, will be duly consulted before any settlement is arrived at with the Naga groups, and their concerns taken into consideration,” he said, replying to a written question.
Last Saturday, Chief Minister Pema Khandu while welcoming the Centre’s initiative to solve the decades-old Naga problem had categorically stated that there would be no compromise on the territorial integrity of his state.
“The Arunachal Pradesh government will make clear its stand on the Naga peace process to the Centre when called for discussion,” he said.
Welcoming the Centre’s initiative, Khandu said New Delhi is serious about solving the issue once for all.
“We will soon call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue, besides taking the view of other stakeholders. We will submit our decision to the Centre before a framework agreement is signed,” the chief minister said while addressing the National Press Day event in Namsai.
“We are clear in our stand and we want that the Naga peace process should not affect the state at any cost,” he said.
A framework agreement was signed on 3 August, 2015, by NSCN (IM) leader Thuingaleng Muivah and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough coming in 1997, when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s independence in 1947.
The central government has already rejected the NSCN (IM)’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas located in Manipur, Arunachal and Assam. The three northeastern states also vehemently opposed it. (With PTI input)