NSCN-IM chief Thuingaleng Muivah. (File image)

Naga insurgent group NSCN (IM) has said that talks with the Centre’s new interlocutor “failed to live up to all the hype”.

The outfit’s statement comes barely a month after former Intelligence Bureau (IB) special director AK Mishra was appointed as new peace talk interlocutor replacing RN Ravi.

The NSCN (IM) in a statement on Saturday said with Mishra’s appointment and the resumption of talks after a gap of nearly two years, “much hype was generated that the final Naga solution is just round the corner.”

“However, the talks failed to live up to all the hype as the Government of India continues to indulge in political escapism on the very issues that is holding up the road to the Naga solution,” said the outfit.

Terming the Centre’s stand on NSCN (IM)’s demand unfortunate, the NSCN alleged that the Government of India is still pretentiously acting stubborn as the crucial rounds of talks that focused on the Naga flag and the Constitution is driven to hang in balance.

Separate flag and constitution for Nagaland are the two main demands of the NSCN (IM), which have been rejected by the Centre.

The outfit  argued that the flag was “not just a piece of cloth” to the Nagas, but a symbol “of the Naga nation’s pride and values.”

NSCN (IM) said it was not “impressed” with the Centre’s offer that the flag be accepted as a “cultural symbol”.

“The Naga issue is not a cultural issue that the Government of India should change the Naga flag as a cultural symbol and forego the Naga political identity as symbolized by the Naga flag,” the statement said.

The outfit also rejected the government’s “post-solution” offer, seemingly alluding to speculation that the differences over the flag and constitution would be ironed out after an agreement is signed.

“NSCN cannot drag the Naga people to make another blunder by falling into the trap being machinated by the Government of India,” it said.

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