The Naga Peoples Movement for Human Rights (NPMHR) said the political and armed groups or organisations in the Northeast are watching the pace of development in the Naga peace talks.
Speaking at the 12th session of the Expert Mechanism on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, United Nations, in Geneva on Friday, NPMHR secretary general Neingulo Krome said if the outcome of the Naga peace talks is encouraging enough, other groups in the region may come forward with more “accommodative spirits”, a release said on Saturday.
“However, if the peace initiatives with the Nagas are discouraging it will only drive them further away,” he cautioned.
Krome said as of now, the armed confrontations are kept under control through different methods of peace agreements in the forms of ceasefires, suspensions of operations and memorandums of understandings.
“But at the end of the day, will any of these delay tactics, divide and rule policy or appeasement attitudes serve any real or meaningful purposes? The Government of India only has the answers,” he said.
The rights group secretary general spoke about how successive prime ministers from Jawaharlal Nehru to Moraji Desai, Indira Gandhi and Narendra Modi have dealt with the Naga political issue over the decades.
Krome sought to point out the militarisation and subsequent ceasefires over the years.
He said some of India’s top generals who led the military operations against the Nagas for decades admitted military solution is not possible.
“With or without peace or ceasefires, it is now more than 70 years that the Naga political movement has continued as one of the longest surviving political conflicts in Asia,” he said.
He further pointed to the several interlocutors during the last 22 years of political negotiations appointed by the government of India.
“The first Interlocutor who was appointed in 1997, Swaraj Kaushal, a former Governor of India, who succeeded in the signing and implementation of the Mizoram Accord, was removed after he openly admitted that Nagas have every right to be independent,” he said.
The second interlocutor, K. Padmanabiah, after more than 10 years of negotiation also admitted that “Nagas are right” and he was again removed, Krome said.
He added the third Interlocutor, R.S. Pandey, who served in Nagaland as a bureaucrat for more than 30 years, resigned in 2014, “perhaps pre-empting an unceremonious removal, but imbedded the idea of a shared sovereignty.”
Krome said the current interlocutor, R.N. Ravi managed to sign the 2015 Framework Agreement, which has not been implemented so far with “some hiccups much to the discredit of India’s insincerity”.
He reminded that in 2015, after the agreement was signed, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had expressed admiration for the Naga people’s support to peace efforts.
Krome, however, said only the government of India is aware of what kind of a solution it has “up its sleeves”.
“But what we do know as Nagas is that our history and situation has always been unique to which the government of India has also admitted and acknowledged on July 11, 2002, and re-iterated on the August 3, 2015 – Framework Agreement. Therefore, the solution also has to be unique,” Krome stressed.