Naga peace process to be concluded without delay: Centre

Getting nod from the apex leadership of all 14 Naga tribes and various stake-holders in a meeting held in Nagaland on Friday, the Centre said it has determined to conclude the peace process without delay after the overwhelming support in favour of a settlement of the issue.

Noting that “endless negotiation under the shadow of guns is not acceptable”, a statement from Naga interlocutor’s office said that the Central government expects all negotiating parties to heed the will of the people, and facilitate the conclusion of the Naga peace process within the stipulated time.

As the 22-year-old Naga talks between the Centre and National Socialist Council of Nagaland (I-M) stand on shaky ground with some leaders of the groups adopting a “procrastinating attitude” by raising the contentious symbolic issues of separate Naga national flag and Constitution on which they are fully aware of the Centre’s position, Centre’s representative and interlocutor for Naga Peace Talks, RN Ravi on Friday held a detailed consultation meeting with the primary stakeholders of the Naga society.

The meeting was attended by the apex leadership of all the 14 Naga tribes of Nagaland, all the minority non-Naga tribes of Nagaland, the Nagaland GB (Gaon Burahs) Federation, the Nagaland Tribes Council, the Church leaders and civil society organizations, said the statement.

“The framework Agreement with the NSCN I-M and the agreed position with the Working Committee of NNPGs were extensively shared with the leaders, pertinent issues discussed and doubts on competencies clarified. Political maturity and wisdom of the Naga leaders who expressed their overwhelming support in favour of a settlement without any further delay is deeply appreciated,” the statement said.

Respecting the Naga people’s wishes, the statement said that the government is determined to conclude the peace process without delay. It said that the Centre under the “decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been determined and diligent to honourably conclude the Naga Peace Process, which has been going on for the last over 22 years. As a result, the Naga Peace Processhas become truly inclusive and reached the conclusion stage in the last five years. All Naga armed groups are engaged with the government of India’s interlocutor and have worked out the draft final settlement”.

It said that primary stakeholders – tribal and civil society organisations from Nagaland, Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam — were involved in the peace process and made valuable contributions through regular consultations and insightful inputs, said, adding the Church leaders with their constant prayers and goodwill have immensely contributed to the cause of enduring peace.

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