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The provision for constitution being negotiated will be properly drafted by experts: NSCN-IM


GUWAHATI: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), which is engaged in peace talks with the Union government, said the provision for constitution that is being negotiated will be properly drafted by experts, intellectuals and professionals drawn from all walks of life from Nagaland as well as international constitution drafting experts and legal experts.

A separate flag and constitution are contentious issues in the talks, which are currently on in Delhi.

On Thursday, the interlocutor for peace talks, RN Ravi, and the working committee of Naga National Political Groups (NNPGs) held a meeting and decided to make public competencies (matters discussed) before signing the final agreement. The committee and the Union government had signed the “agreed position” or “preamble” on November 17, 2017. NNPGS is a conglomerate of seven Naga national groups.

Hutovi Chishi, convener of the steering committee of the NSCN-IM, said: “There has been much talk about constitution in the run-up to finalising the Indo-Naga political talks. Without the constitution as the principles and laws that determine the power and duties of the government and guarantee rights to the people, how can ,a nation run? The constitution is our soul without which we cannot govern. At present, different Naga political organisations or governments are using their own adopted Yehzabos (constitutions) for their day-to-day governance.”

He said the government of India, through the framework agreement (FA) recognises that the sovereignty of India and the Nagas lies with their respective peoples. The agreement says, “Inclusive peaceful co-existence of the two entities sharing sovereign power.” By ‘inclusive’, it means all Nagas and their territories in different administrative units and political camps are to be included in the agreement, he said.

“Co-existence of the two entities means that Nagas and the Union of India will co-exist. And the new relationship between the two shall be as defined in the competencies. This is the only political process to bring a solution that is honourable and acceptable,” said Chishi.

He further said that the framework agreement was not published in the public domain right after the signing as competencies were yet to be worked out. At the same time, the contents needed safeguarding before the completion of the competencies that will determine the new relationship between India and the Nagas.

“While appreciating the genuine concern of the Naga people to know the details of the competencies, we are constrained to inform you that some of the competencies are still under hectic negotiation as you all are aware of. Any agreement signed under Indian constitution can be openly published like others do,” said Chishi.

“But the FA and the competencies being worked out with ‘outside the box’ solution needs caution till its completion. Therefore, we shall surely bring forth before the people in due course of time for wider consultations,” he said.

The NSCN-IM had made public the contents of the framework agreement last month.

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