The chief of National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM (NSCN-IM) said on Friday that the Centre recognised the sovereignty of the Nagas when it signed the 2015 framework agreement and that the Nagas will co-exist but not merge with India.
The NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah, 86, said they were not asking the Government of India for a Naga national flag and a separate constitution as “recognise them or not, we have our own flag and constitution.”
Mr. Muivah said in a speech that “the Nagas will co-exist with India sharing sovereign powers as agreed in the Framework Agreement and defined in the competencies..But they will not merge with India.”
The speech made on the eve of the Independence Day comes at a time when the talks have hit rough weather with the Naga group demanding the removal of interlocutor and Nagaland Governor R.N Ravi.
Earlier this week, the NSCN-IM had for the first time released the details of the 2015 framework agreement that stated that the Centre had agreed on “sharing the sovereign power” and provide for an “enduring inclusive new relationship of peaceful co-existence of the two entities”.
The Isaak Muivah faction of the NSCN-IM, one of the largest Naga groups, signed the agreement in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi on August 3, 2015, to end the decades-old Naga issue.
In Friday’s speech, Mr. Muivah said, “After a series of intensive discussions based on the principle of the proposed ‘co-existence and shared-sovereignty’, the Framework Agreement was arrived at and officially signed on the 3rd August, 2015. The Government of India through the Framework Agreement recognises the sovereignty of the Nagas.”
“The agreement also says ‘Inclusive peaceful co-existence of the two entities sharing sovereign power’. By ‘inclusive,’ it means all Nagas in different administrative units and political camps are to be included in the agreement. Co-existence of the two entities is self-explanatory. It means the two peoples and nations will co-exist. Political and legal experts admit the terms ‘co-existence’ and ‘shared-sovereignty’ apply to two entities, not one entity. The Nagas will co-exist with India sharing sovereign powers as agreed in the Framework Agreement and defined in the competencies. But they will not merge with India,” he said.
He said Nagas have neither been a party to the Union of India nor to that of Burma (Myanmar).
He said that in 2010, during the tenure of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the Government of India through its interlocutor R.S. Pandey proposed a ‘Non-paper’. “The non-paper says, Coexistence of the two entities and shared-sovereignty of the two entities,” he claimed.
In November 2017, Mr. Ravi included more Naga groups in the talks and signed a preamble with the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs).
The Intelligence Bureau has been holding discussions with Mr. Muivah, who has been camping in New Delhi for more than a fortnight. Mr. Ravi did not turn up for a scheduled meeting with the NSCN leadership on Thursday.
The NNPGs support Mr. Ravi and have demanded that the final peace pact be signed soon.