In a comprehensive address on the intricacies of the Naga peace process on 16 May, 2024 during the commemoration of Naga Plebiscite Day, former convener of WC NNPGs Kitovi Zhimomi, provided insights into the signing of the Agreed Position.

Kitovi Zhimomi elaborates on Agreed Position, suggests clubbing FA and AP for final solution
Kitovi Zhimomi

Zhimomi explained that the NNPGs had told the Government of India that they would base their negotiation on the 1951 Naga Plebiscite Day, but the Government of India did not agree.

“The Government of India was not a party to that plebiscite. ‘How can you impose your conditions on us?’ the Government of India said. We were heartbroken,” he recounted, adding that it was during this time they prayed and looked into the Naga Plebiscite and realized that the term “self-determination” was included in it.

“The next time we met with interlocutor RN Ravi, we did not say the solution would be based on the Naga Plebiscite. We said that the ‘GoI should recognize the history and political rights of the Nagas to self-determine their future in accordance with their distinct identity’. The GoI accepted the principle of self-determination, thus recognizing the 1951 plebiscite because they acknowledged that Nagas can self-determine their future,” said Zhimomi.

However, he noted that there was a second paragraph which stated, “Until the day Nagas can stand by themselves, the two entities have agreed to work out the details of a relationship that is honorable, enduring, and inclusive of peaceful coexistence with due regard to contemporary political reality.”

On this basis, he said, the GoI and the WC NNPGs have agreed.

Asserting that Nagas have lost thousands of innocent lives and patriotic lives, and shed too much blood, he asked, “When are we going to translate the plebiscite into practical reality?”

He acknowledged that the NSCN-IM and the GoI signed the Framework Agreement on 3 August 2015. “As per their agreement, they have agreed to solve their problem as defined in their competencies. Let them bring their competencies, and WC NNPGs will also bring their competency. Let’s club them together and find a solution,” stated Zhimomi. “Or are we going to keep dragging the issue for another 74 years?” he asked.

He also challenged the civil societies on transparency, stating, “Before signing the Agreed Position, we had a consultation meeting with the Naga Civil Societies. We asked if we were to fight for an independent, sovereign nation, how many can we recruit from each tribe. How many will give money for us to buy arms? You kept asking for transparency. We were transparent and everyone said not to take up violence or pick up arms. Therefore, even today, I am telling you, if you think we should fight until we get independence, tell us how many recruits you can contribute from each tribe.”

MTNews Desk

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