NSCN-IM stresses integration of all Naga territories

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Kohima, July 1 (IANS) The NSCN-IM on Sunday stressed that the issue of integration of all Naga territories was an integral part of the ongoing political dialogue with the Centre and that both parties had agreed to pursue this through a democratic process.

A Nagaland Socialist Council of Nagaland-Issac Muivah statement said that Naga territories had been arbitrarily and indiscriminately kept apart first by the British and then further divided between Burma (now Myanmar) and India without the knowledge and consent of the Naga people, which is “totally unacceptable”.

“Just as there cannot be a kingdom without territory, so the political talks between the Nagas and the government sans integration of all contiguous Naga areas will be a futile exercise. In recognition of the Nagas’ history and situation as unique by the government of India, the historic Framework Agreement of August 3, 2015, was signed between the Centre and the NSCN. Both parties agreed and recognised that integration of all contiguous Naga areas is the legitimate right of the Naga people and it is mutually agreed that it will be pursued through earnest political democratic process,” the statement added said.

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“Now, after 21 years of negotiations, India and Naga people are prepared to finalise the political dialogue to its logical conclusion and resolve the oldest political problem in the Southeast Asia. At this crucial juncture, any attempt to undermine or disturb the peace process without making the head or the tail of the negotiation shall no longer be tolerated,” the group said.

The Naga group also slammed Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphu Rio for what it said was “trying to barter the legitimate rights of the Nagas in the open market for personal glory” and termed it a “treacherous attempt to enhance personal political ambition at the expense of the Nagas’ rights”.

“The Nagas will stand ground to the last. It must be remembered that this hard-earned political achievement has come at the cost of untold sufferings and supreme sacrifices by thousands of Nagas. No individual or organisation is licensed to talk cheaply on the history of our people,” it said.

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“It is time the Nagas were vigilant and alert to distinguish between truth and falsity. The greatest challenge before us today is to remain truthful, and committed to the historical decision,” the NSCN-IM said.

–IANS

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