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‘Arunachal not to compromise with territorial integrity’: CM Pema Khandu

Pema Khandu

peace parleys

NSCN-IM claims that Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts are dominated by Nagas

Our Correspondent

Namsai: Reiterating his government’s stand on the Naga peace process, Chief Minister Pema Khandu on Saturday categorically said there will be no compromise on the territorial integrity of the State.

Welcoming the Centre’s initiative to solve the decade-old Naga problem, Khandu said “New Delhi is serious to solve the issue once for all”.

“We will soon call an all-party meeting to discuss the issue besides taking the view of other stakeholders and will submit our decision to the Centre before a framework agreement is signed,” the Chief Minister said while addressing the National Press Day celebration here.

The Central Government has rejected the NSCN-IM’s demand for unification of Naga inhabited areas – located in Manipur, Arunachal Pradesh and Assam. The three northeastern States have also vehemently opposed it.

“We are clear in our stand and we want that Naga peace process should not affect the state at any cost,” Khandu said adding, the State Government would clear its position to the Centre when called for discussion.

The NSCN-IM had demanded ‘Nagalim’ or Greater Nagaland in which all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast would be under one administrative umbrella.

The map of Nagalim, released by the NSCN-IM a few years ago, spreads over 1,03,473 sq km beyond the 16,527 sq km area of Nagaland.

It includes Anjaw, Changlang, Lohit, Longding, Namsai and Tirap districts of Arunachal Pradesh. The NSCN-IM, as well as its rival factions, claimed that these areas, primarily Changlang, Longding and Tirap districts, are dominated by Nagas.

Successive governments in Arunachal Pradesh have time and again made it clear that they would not compromise on the State’s territorial integrity.

A framework agreement was signed on August 3, 2015 by NSCN-IM leader Thuingaleng Muivah and Centre’s interlocutor R N Ravi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The framework agreement came after over 80 rounds of negotiations spanning 18 years, with the first breakthrough in 1997 when the ceasefire agreement was sealed after decades of insurgency in Nagaland which started soon after India’s Independence in 1947.

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