NSCN(I-M) to resume peace talks with Centre

Group meets with Core Committee on Naga Political Issue

Updated - September 18, 2022 11:55 pm IST

Published - September 18, 2022 11:51 am IST - GUWAHATI:

T.R. Zeliang, the co-convenor of the core committee on Naga Political issue

T.R. Zeliang, the co-convenor of the core committee on Naga Political issue | Photo Credit: PTI

The extremist National Socialist Council of Nagalim or Isak-Muivah faction of the NSCN has “agreed” to resume peace talks with the Centre based on the Framework Agreement signed on August 3, 2015.

The decision follows a meeting between the 11 representatives of the NSCN (I-M) and the 22-member Core Committee on Naga Political Issue comprising MPs and MLAs of Nagaland at Chümoukedima near the State’s commercial hub Dimapur on Saturday.

“The NSCN has agreed to resume talks on the condition that they are based on the Framework Agreement and the formulation papers submitted to N.N. Ravi and A.K. Mishra,” T.R. Zeliang, the co-convenor of the core committee said.

Mr Mishra, a former special director of the Intelligence Bureau, succeeded Mr Ravi as the Centre’s interlocutor for the Naga peace process in September 2021. The latter is the Governor of Tamil Nadu.

Mr Zeliang said an NSCN (I-M) delegation would be leaving for New Delhi on September 19 to discuss some unresolved matters with Central government officials.

There are reports that a Central team has been working on a new set of “formulation papers” for packaging a set of offers, along with the old, to facilitate the final peace deal soon.

Mr Zeliang said the meeting was focussed on conveying what Home Minister Amit Shah had told the committee at a meeting in New Delhi on September 12. The NSCN (I-M) delegation, he said, was unhappy with Mr Mishra’s for omitting some important political points that Mr Ravi had included in his formulation papers earlier.

“Our role is to act as facilitators of the peace process and convey the feeling of the Nagas and the Centre to each other. We are not at all involved with the negotiation,” he said.

He also said the onus was now on the Centre and the NSCN (I-M) to sign the final agreement before the Assembly elections due by February 2023. The Working Committee of the Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) is ready to sign the final agreement any time, he added.

The NNPGs consist of at least seven groups that have traditionally been the rivals of the NSCN (I-M).

The NSCN (I-M) said the ball of the final agreement was in the Centre’s court. “We have been waiting for their response,” Rh Raising, member of the outfit’s collective leadership said.

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