GUWAHATI: Naga National Political Group (NNPG) leader N. Kitovi Zhimomi has said that the new accord should offer “win-win situation for all” and that “the rule of law” must be upheld.

“We ought to have the rule of law. People have to have rules that apply equally to everyone. One cannot dream of Nagaland as a state where we pursue — my way or the highway,” Kitovi told a group of youth during a virtual video conference.

An online discussion was organised recently by a group of Naga youths in the South Asian region on the theme ‘The Conquest and Morality of Nagaism’.

The 64-year-old former rebel leader Zhimomi, who is the NNPG Convener, said.

“The NNPG and former Nagaland Governor R.N.Ravi negotiated on the principle that politics is an art of possibilities, and so the focus was to resolve the Indo-Naga political problems. We should aim for a win-win
situation for both sides in the first place”.

Kitovi’s said some issues involving Naga peace deal were very emotive and sensitive.

“But to resolve the problems, we have to respect the rule of law and constitutional limitations. We told Governor Ravi initially, we will cooperate with you when it comes to your legal and constitutional positions, but the Government of India should respect the uniqueness of our case and be ready to be flexible,” he said.

“I think things went on in good spirits and we will have a positive outcome,” Kitovi said.

To a question on the Governor’s role as the negotiator, Kitovi said, “I agreed to participate in Wednesday’s discussions with you all when I came to know about the theme — the ‘Morality of Nagaism’. As Christians, the issue of Nagaism and the morality is very important. Communism and Christianity cannot go together for long. Many Indian officials could not differentiate between the two.”

“But R.N. Ravi was a real exception. He is close to the Naga values as an individual. He is genuine and honest. Corruption left him disturbed. So, I was not surprised when as the Governor, he spoke against extortion.
This menace of extortion is an extreme form of corruption,” he said.

Asked how would the Peace pact also cater to the welfare and wishes of thousands of Nagas outside ‘Nagaland state’, he said, “Of course, emotional Naga integrity is part of our life. I can tell you there is sufficient room for them as well. Our status paper already mentions some of these issues. One will know better what the NNPG is trying to give to our brothers and sisters outside Nagaland state.”

However, he said as a negotiating player one had to understand the problems and hurdles Indian government or Indian Parliament would face.

“If we want Naga sentiment should be respected, we have to respect their emotion too. The constitutional obligation the Indian parliament has. We cannot create problems. Then you cannot resolve the problem…. That was a big difference in our approach.”

The NNPG Chief said, “Ravi was sincere and so even when I had a strong argument with him on certain issues, personally I never felt bad about him. Now that he is a Governor of a bigger state like Tamil Nadu, I wish him good luck. I knew R.S. Pandey also and now we are talking to new interlocutor A.K. Mishra.”

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