In a press statement issued on Monday, NSCN IM said that the Government of India (GoI) giving Z Plus category of security to the Collective Leadership of NSCN was a matter of GoI showing “seriousness in dealing with NSCN leaders” who carried the Naga political issue as they had come to New Delhi on GoI invitation to carry forward the Naga political talk. “Anyone who tried to draw unparallel comparison is simply going superfluous,” added the statement.
The statement maintained that it was pertinent to point out the “genesis” of the ongoing Indo-Naga political talks beginning from 1997 onwards after ceasefire came into effect. The NSCN statement also asserted that the Government of India (GoI), after realizing the futility of seeking military solution to the Naga political movement came looking for NSCN Collective Leadership who were based abroad that time.
“It was Prime Minister Mr. PV Narashimha Rao, who came all the way to Paris (France) in 1995 to meet NSCN leaders, Mr. Isak Chishi Swu, Chairman and Mr. Th. Muivah, General Secretary,” it further said.
However, according to the NSCN, the political negotiation started on the condition that the Government of India recognized Naga issue as political and stopped terming it as India’s “Internal Law and Order Issue”. Ultimately, the statement continued, ceasefire was officially declared on August 1, 1997 as NSCN was convinced of the change of policy of the GoI towards the Naga issue. “It was agreed that political dialogue shall be at the highest level, i.e. Prime Minister Level; Without Pre-condition and Outside India in a Third Country,” continued the press note.
NSCN reminded that talks were accordingly held abroad in third countries – Paris, (France), New York (USA), The Hague (The Netherlands), Bangkok (Thailand) and Chiangmai (Thailand), Zurich (Switzerland), Geneva (Switzerland), Osaka (Japan), Kuala-Lumpur (Malaysia), Vienna (Austria) and Milan (Italy).
The statement also recounted that Indo-Naga political talks changed for the better with the signing of the “Amsterdam Joint Communiqué on July 11, 2020”, which gave official recognition to the “Unique history and situation of the Nagas”. NSCN considered singing of the Amsterdam Joint Communiqué as “the first realistic step forward in the political negotiation”. NSCN also asserted that in order to push the talk faster with closer interaction, the GoI invited NSCN leaders to come to New Delhi giving full commitment to take care of their security concern.
NSF officials led by NINOTO AWOMI, President met with the collective leadership of NSCN-IM upon invitation at New Delhi on Monday
The NSCN statement maintained that prior to acceptance of the invitation and eventual arrival of NSCN Chairman Mr. Isak Chishi Swu and General Secretary Mr. Th. Muivah in New Delhi in December, 2002, a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed on the 18th November, 2002, in Milan (Italy) to formalize their travel to New Delhi free from security risk; the MoU was in addition to a conscious decision of the GoI to discontinue the ban on the NSCN under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.
“Once the NSCN Collective Leadership reached New Delhi they were provided Z plus category security arrangement with IB quarters as their official residence,” the statement contended. “They were extended this high profile security arrangement given the fact that they carry the Naga political mandate and they held the Naga issue, and that the GoI had signed ceasefire with NSCN to pave the way for solution,” it also added.
The press note went on to assert that everything was done on GoI’s initiative and not something asked by NSCN and that reflected “the seriousness of the GoI towards NSCN leadership and the issue they represent.”
“The Government of India knows too well who carried the Naga political issue and who are the groups that necessitate giving high profile security cover,” the statement said.
According to NSCN, no group can mislead the Naga people on Naga issue. “Who is doing what to defend the political identity of the Naga struggle is already laid bare before the people,” read the statement. “What is delaying the peace process needs no further elaboration,” it added.
NSCN also affirmed that the Framework Agreement of the 3rd August, 2015 was the initiative of the Prime Minister of India, Mr. Narendra Modi and the signing ceremony was done in his presence along with other high dignitaries of the Government of India including Defence Minister, Indian Army Chief and National Security Advisor (NSA), and witnessed by the whole world as it was telecast live across the world. “This is the political significance of the Framework Agreement that was mutually agreed upon and signed,” NSCN reiterated.