In a historic step, the Indian government signed a peace pact with the chief rebel group of Nagaland NSCN (IM), bringing an end to India’s longest insurgency after six decades. The pact, which marks the closure of nearly two decades of peace talks, was signed by chief Indian interlocutor N. Ravi and T. Muivah, chairman of the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) at 7 Race Course Road, the official residence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Besides Mr Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and 19 Naga leaders from various organizations were present at the historic signing ceremony. Mr Modi hailed the accord, saying “it is a lesson and an inspiration in our troubled world.”
“We will not only try to heal wounds and resolve problems, but also be your partner as you restore your pride and prestige,” he stressed.
The 79-year-old Muivah was also all praise for the prime minister’s leadership and initiative. “Under Modi, we have come close to understanding each other and have worked out a new relation with the government,” the Naga leader said.
There still isn’t much clarity on how the agreement addresses the demand for the integration of all Naga inhabited areas in the Northeast across Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. The execution plan and the details of the pact would be made public shortly, according to a government statement. While there are certain rebel factions who still haven’t come on board such as the group led by S.S. Khaplang that broke the ceasefire agreement earlier with attacks in Manipur recently that killed 18 soldiers.
A strong a credible framework is expected to be instituted, which would support ties among Nagas across Northeast states without substantially changing administrative and jurisdictional authority of the neighbouring states.
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