Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio Thursday asserted that the all party government in the state will continue to extend support for a solution of the vexed Naga Political Issue. There exists an ”overwhelming cry” for a final solution to the protracted problem among all sections of the people in Nagaland, he said.
The present government appeals for an early solution to the NPI and supports such a development even before the 2023 Nagaland Assembly election, Rio said participating in a special discussion on the Naga Political Issue (NPI) in the floor of the House.
He iterated that the state government is not a direct party to the peace negotiations but is only playing the role of a facilitator. ”Our sincerity towards the commitments which we have made in our respective manifestoes still stands, he said at the discussion initiated by Nagaland MLA K T Sukhalu.
“My government has given utmost importance to the Naga Politiccal Issue. We have made every possible effort to play the role of an active facilitator to create an atmosphere that is conducive to the realisation of an early solution to the protracted issue,” Rio said.
The chief minister emphasised on the adoption of a ”mature approach” to solve the political issue that has ”stretched for several decades and involves the longest standing insurgency of the entire region” and appealed tp all sections of the Naga society and the negotiating parties to rise above differences.
”The present ceasefire (with NSCN-IM) and talks have been going on for more than two decades. We feel that it is more than enough time for all sides to understand and appreciate each other in a manner that we are able to reach a desired conclusion by achieving a settlement, Rio said.
He urged all Nagas to unite as one family and put their best possible efforts towards achieving a solution that is ”honourable, inclusive and acceptable” and begin a new era of peace, progress and development so that Nagas can contribute more towards the ”forward march of this great nation”.
Elaborating on the steps taken by the government for a solution to the Naga imbroglio, the chief minister said it formed the all-party United Democratic Front (UDA) government with the singular motive to facilitate the peace process so that we realise the aspiration of achieving genuine peace though a negotiated political solution that is honourable, acceptable and inclusive, he said.
Rio also highlighted the initiatives of the Parliamentary Committee on NPI of the government and its Core Committee and appreciated the signing of the Framework Agreement between the Centre and NSCN-IM in 2015 and the Agreed Position with the Working Committee of seven Naga National Political Groups. He also appreciated the Centre for exhibiting ”sincere commitment” in the collective efforts to resolve the protracted issue.
It is a matter of great satisfaction that on September 14 the national political groups signed the September Joint Accordant’ under the initiative of the Forum for Naga Reconciliation (FNR). This is a significant step in the right direction, he said. Conveying the appreciation of the House to the signatories of the Joint Accordant and its facilitator the Forum for Naga Reconciliation, Rio said Such a spirit of understanding and willingness to live together in peace is definitely the way forward.
With such oneness, Nagas will be able to reach the desired goal sooner than later, he added. Nagas are at the crucial stage of discussions between the negotiating parties and it is imperative that they stand united at this point, Sakhalu said.