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Assam CM arrives in Dimapur to play the role of a catalyst in Naga talks

NJ Thakuria

NJ ThakuriaSep 22, 2021, 10:16 AM IST

Assam CM arrives in Dimapur to play the role of a catalyst in Naga talks
CM Himanta Biswa Sarma

CM Sarma arrived in Dimapur on Tuesday to meet the leaders of NSCN-IM, Naga national political groups and his Nagaland counterpart, Neiphiu Rio to resume fresh round of talks between NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the former top Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer AK Mishra.

 

Guwahati: The deadlocked Naga peace talks between the Union government in New Delhi and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah faction), which has been resumed lately after two years, seems to get a catalyst in Assam chief minister Himanta Biswa Sarma, who is also the convenor of BJP floated north-east democratic alliance (NEDA).

The senior saffron leader has arrived in Dimapur on Tuesday (September 21) to meet the leaders of NSCN-IM, Naga national political groups and his Nagaland counterpart, Neiphiu Rio. The initiative is understood as a supplementary to the resumed fresh round of talks between NSCN-IM general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah and the former top Intelligence Bureau (IB) officer AK Mishra.

Mishra, along with IB director Arvind Kumar, arrived in Nagaland on Sunday. R N Ravi, the former governor of Nagaland, was replaced by Mishra as the interlocutor of Naga peace talks. Ravi was transferred as Tamil Nadu Governor, whereas Assam Governor Jagdish Mukhi has been given an additional charge of Nagaland.

NSCN-IM has already clarified that the peace talks, suspended because of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been resumed to find an amicable solution to Naga issues. It asserted that everything would be initiated based on the Framework Agreement, signed in New Delhi (2015) in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and NSCN-IM chief negotiator Muivah. NSCN-IM is seemingly determined for a separate Naga flag and constitution.

Northeast’s popular English daily newspaper ‘The Sentinel’ editorialized the pertinent issue of separate flag and constitution for Naga people, saying that the appointment of a new interlocutor may help break the ice, but complexities of ground realities cannot be wished away.

The Centre is understood to have agreed to Pan Naga Hoho as a statutory body through an act of Parliament with an advisory role for meeting the cultural aspirations of Nagas, but with no political role or executive authority, stated the editorial, adding that however the NSCN-IM is learnt to have been insisting on Pan Naga Hoho having executive authority with powers to make laws applicable in Naga-inhabited areas.

The government seems to have realized that solution to the vexed Naga political problem must include Nagas beyond the territorial boundaries of Nagaland, but it is aware of ground realities that any arrangement with implications on existing territories and powers of neighbouring states will be met with strong oppositions.

“Indian Constitution has adequate space for articulating new models of power-sharing and governance. It requires imagination to articulate the one to address the political aspirations of the Nagas,” said the editorial adding, “Talks must resume ending the deadlock.”

 

 

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