Other States

Restart talks at PM level without preconditions in third country: Muivah

The Isak-Muivah faction of the National Socialist Council of Nagaland or NSCN (IM) wants its peace talks to be restarted at the level of the Prime Minister without any precondition and in a third country.

These were the conditions the outfit, which now prefers to be called National Socialist Council of Nagalim, had set before declaring a ceasefire with the armed forces in mid-1997. The first few rounds of talks were held abroad.

Thingaleng Muivah, general secretary of the NSCN (IM) and a key negotiator in the peace process, had acquainted Prime Minister Narendra Modi with the outfit’s desire in a letter seven months ago. His group released the letter to the media on Monday for the sake of “accountability to the Nagas” and to inform them about the delay because of the lack of response from the office of the “Indian Prime Minister”.

Mr. Muivah is the Ato Kilonser, meaning Prime Minister, in the ‘government’ run by the NSCN (IM). A PM-level dialogue means talks between him and Mr. Modi.

“On the official invitation of the GoI [government of India], we first arrived in India in 2002 and after our subsequent visits, we have since 2010 patiently stayed in India to conclude an acceptable and honourable political settlement. As mentioned, several rounds of talks with the Prime Ministers of India and the representatives of the GoI have already been completed and the unique outcome was the signing of the Framework Agreement (FA) on August 3, 2015...

“However, in the given circumstances and to save the political dialogue, the talks should resume at the PM level without pre-condition and outside India. And if our stay in India is no more welcome, all necessary arrangements must be made for us to leave India and the political talks be resumed in a third country,” the letter said.

Stating that most of the important issues, except for the Naga flag and constitution, have been resolved, Mr. Muivah brought to Mr. Modi’s notice “some matters of serious concern” regarding the activities of the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), the National Investigation Agency and the Assam Rifles.

“As you are well aware, 22 years of political negotiation had started at the PM’s level without pre-condition and outside India. We had come to India on the invitation of the Gol. However, we are totally shocked and surprised that even after more than two decades of political negotiation, the MHA and its agencies have become obnoxious,” Mr. Muivah wrote.

He said it was “shocking and surprising” that the Centre has started branding the NSCN (IM) members as ‘terrorists’ with impunity and arresting them through its agencies.

“The activities of the MHA are deliberate and calculated policies of the GoI to downgrade the political negotiation to India’s internal law and order issue. The Nagas are observing a repeat of the militarisation and a consciously carried out state terrorism in the Naga areas and against the Naga people through a show of force, arrest and allegation against NSCN members for terror funding, imposing check gates, frequent raids. The design and intent of the MHA and its agencies are unjustifiable and a serious provocation that goes against the principle and spirit of the political negotiation and the FA,” Mr. Muivah wrote.

The NSCN (IM) leader was also critical of the ‘activities’ of PMO’s representative and Nagaland Governor R.N. Ravi, consciously functioning within the law and order purview of the Constitution of India in “deliberate deviation” from his appointment as the Centre’s interlocutor in the Naga talks.

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Printable version | Oct 29, 2020 9:57:26 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/restart-talks-at-pm-level-without-preconditions-in-third-country-muivah/article32776063.ece

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