After over 80 rounds of talks during the 18 years of cease fire, the government of India and NSCN (I-M) on Monday, signed the “Naga Peace Accord” in New Delhi.
Talking exclusively to Nagaland Post, Government of India’s Interlocutor for Naga peace talks, R.N. Ravi said the August 3 agreement was a “framework agreement, an agreement where it has basically acknowledged the unique history of Nagas and a relationship of equals”.
Ravi also said that the agreement was signed in view of the request made by NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu, who wanted an agreement signed between the two entities in his lifetime, as both the parties have already agreed upon “major issues” and left to work on the “nitty gritties”.
Asked what were the “major issues” agreed upon, Ravi, refused to divulge much but admitted, that issues such as sovereignty and integration was also deliberated and some formula worked out for them. On the signing of ‘Naga Peace Accord’, Ravi said “Nagas have suffered all these years because of lack of understanding. Their dignity and pride has to be restored. Their uniqueness will be reflected in all the competencies .”
Ravi said that the relationship between Nagas and Indians was based on sharing of a “sovereign power; “ which he explained as areas where Nagas were sovereign over India and vice versa. He also disclosed that the agreement was jointly signed by NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu. He said Swu was in good health now.
V.S Atem: Also talking to Nagaland Post, emissary to NSCN (I-M) collective leadership V.S. Atem divulged some points were agreed upon between the government of India and NSCN (I-M). He said “we have agreed to share sovereign power with each other”.
Asked whether integration issue was also agreed upon, Atem claimed that “everything was on board” adding “yes integration will be in the agreement”.
He also termed the agreement as a “framework agreement” and described it as a “preamble agreement within it. All details are worked out”. He said after details were worked out then it will be revealed to the Nagas. Atem also said that the details of the “Naga Peace Accord” would be released by August 4.
On the signing of “Naga Peace Accord”, Atem said government of India has also understood the positions of the Nagas and vice versa and through mutual recognition, both the parties agreed to arrive at an “honourable solution” to provide a new relationship and peaceful coexistence between the two entities.
Atem said that NSCN (I-M) has made a “historic agreement” of reconciliation and unity on the basis of political and historical right of the Nagas. He maintained that both Shillong Accord of 1975 and 16 point agreement, 1960 were not made on the basis of political and historical right of the Nagas.
Asked whether NSCN (I-M) was open to other groups in their agreement, Atem said “you ask them whether they want to be part of it. So far they are indecisive.”