Naga peace talks mostly `bluff and bluster’ and an `absurdity’ : NSCN-IM

Dimapur, Mar 22 (PTI) The NSCN-IM on Tuesday lashed out at the Centre, claiming that the Naga peace talks which are currently on, have been mostly “bluff and bluster”, turning the conversation between the former rebels and the government into what it claimed was an “absurdity”.

The Naga rebels said they felt a trust deficit had grown between the two sides because of the “unserious” and “unsavoury” attitude of the government.

The Centre-NSCN(IM) talks has been “bluff and bluster all the way with no seriousness”, the group president Q Tuccu said during a programme at its headquarters at Hebron on Tuesday. “There is thus a trust deficit,” he added for good measure.

The Naga peace talks have been continuing for several decades after a ceasefire was signed in 1997 with the NSCN(IM) after which a framework agreement was signed in 2015 which was to be a precursor for a final peace accord.

The main sticking points between the two sides has been the Naga demand for a separate flag and a chapter in the Indian constitution guaranteeing the peace accord.

“The absurdity of the situation regarding the talks is entirely the making of the Government of India as its commitment to the Framework Agreement has turned unsavoury with each passing day,” Tuccu said.

NSCN-IM is the principal negotiator for Naga peace talks with the Centre since 1997 and has inked the Framework Agreement on August 3, 2015.

He said that notwithstanding the Centre’s handling of the peace talks, the NSCN-IM has carried the talks forward with total commitment and conviction.

“No sacrifice is too great when it comes to defending the historical and political rights of the Nagas,” he said.

“It is for the central government to put its act together and get back the lost ground … The fate of the Framework Agreement hangs in balance as its commitment to it fluctuates wildly every now and then,” the NSCN(IM) leader said.