The Centre is firm on its September deadline to conclude the decades-old Naga peace talks by signing a final peace accord in which all stakeholders will be signatories.
Noting that the first deadline to end the Naga talks was October 31, 2019, that was extended at the NSCN (I-M)’s request, home ministry sources told this newspaper the Centre will not extend the deadline further as almost all substantiative issues had been finalised. The Centre, they said, had already told the Naga leadership what were the issues on which the Centre can agree or not, adding “no one can blackmail the government at gunpoint”.
“The ball is now in the court of stakeholders, they can avail the opportunity to be a part of the historic Naga peace accord,” the sources added, clarifying that a majority of stakeholders in Nagaland, including Naga tribal groups and the Naga National Political Groups (NNPG) had given their consent to signing of the peace accord.
Saying the NSCN (I-M) leadership was still camping in New Delhi, the sources said they were kept engaged in meetings with Intelligence Bureau officers, though most key issues with the NSCN (I-M) had been settled.
Admitting that the NSCN (I-M) was still insisting on its demand for a separate flag and constitution, the sources said they had been advised they could hold talks on these “rhetorical issues” even after the peace accord was signed....