PMO sets Oct deadline for Naga truce sans territory integration
From Deepak Dewan
NEW DELHI | Aug 18
The ongoing talks between the NSCN(IM) and the Centre are likely to be concluded and may result in a settlement by October this year. A three-month deadline to conclude talks was decided by the Prime Minister’s Office -PMO in the month of July and has been conveyed to the NSCN(IM) leadership.
It maybe mentioned here that this 3-month deadline is also meant for the other Naga groups engaged in the talks with the Centre.
NSCN(IM) has been engaged in the talks with the Centre since August 1997.
On August 3, 2015 a “Framework Agreement” was signed in New Delhi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Although the text of “Framework Agreement” has been kept as a ‘ secret’ by both the sides till now but according to the sources the agreement outlined the basic understanding of sharing powers in governance.
This 3-month deadline to find a solution will involve lot of burning of midnight oil as the integration of contiguous Naga area issue remains the main stumbling block.
NSCN (IM) has been adamant on the Naga integration issue and has been maintaining that without the integration there cannot be any solution to the Naga issue. Whereas it appears that the Centre does not want to change the state boundaries of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh.
It may be recalled, the newly appointed Governor of Nagaland, R.N. Ravi, speaking on the occasion of Independence Day on August 15, had also indicated that the vexed Naga problem is set to conclude in three months with the signing of an agreement.
Ravi did not indicate a territorial solution either, but said only some symbolic concessions demanded by the Naga negotiators were the hurdles to be overcome.
Though he did not spell it out, these symbolic concessions probably refer to the NSCN(IM)’s demand for separate flag, constitution and passport for the Nagas.
In the wake of the controversy over the abrogation of Article 370 to end Kashmir’s special autonomy negotiated at the time of merger with India, observers have been raising doubts if the BJP government at the Centre would go ahead to give to the Nagas afresh what was snatched away abruptly and controversially from the Kashmiris.
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