Mokokchung, 25 June (MTNews): The Ex-Parliamentarian’s Association of Nagaland (Ex-PAN) has expressed its disagreement with a statement made by the NSCN (IM) regarding the Naga political issue, which was published in the local newspapers on 27 May.
The Association quoted the statement, part of which read, “Thus, Article 371 (A) as inserted into the Part XXI of the Indian Constitution in the year 1962 or 16 Point Agreement of 1960, no longer bears any political meaning as the historic Framework Agreement (FA) signed between the Nagas as represented by NSCN and Government of India (GoI) on 3rd August, 2015 has come into existence to nullify all the past acts of injustice to the Nagas and bring new solution/agreement that is honourable and acceptable.”
The Association highlighted the implications of this statement, emphasizing that the assertion that the FA has nullified the 16 Point Agreement and Article 371 (A) will have far reaching consequences and ramifications.
It clarified that, to date, the FA remains a mere “Framework” because no final agreement or subsequent arrangements have been reached between the NSCN (IM) and the GoI in the eight years since its signing.
The FA is only an agreed parameter within which the agenda or competencies are supposed to be worked out for necessary implementations on the ground. The Association said that, similar to that of the 16-point agreement, those agreed agenda or competencies are to be enacted into an Act passed by both Houses of Parliament.
The Association further explained that if Article 371(A) is to be superseded by any other Act, it has to be through a specific amendment by two-third majority of the members voting in both houses. Only then, the question of whether such competencies under FA approved by both Houses of Parliament are superior or inferior in respect to constitutional status of Article 371 (A) or 16-point agreement will hold water, it said.
However, the Association pointed out that the FA till date remains without any substance and it has never been placed before the two Houses of Parliament. Therefore, it stated that such claims that Article 371 (A) or 16-point agreement being nullified is an invalid assertion and misleading.
Toward this, the Association viewed that the “NSCN (IM) must not try and dismantle the established constitutional pillars with jaundiced eye unless such existing arrangements are substituted with more constitutional powers instead of basing statements on an agreement that has no constitutional authority.”
On NSCN (IM) blaming the GoI for the inconclusiveness of the negotiations, the Association said the “NSCN (IM) knows best on who is responsible for the delays in arriving at a final agreement.”
The Association meanwhile urged all the negotiating parties to be sincere and honest with the Nagas as to whether they will opt for the ultimate agreement or will they opt out.
“The peace process cannot become indefinite as the process engages not only negotiators but every citizen, and the common man in particular has to bear the brunt of it,” it stated.