The journey from 1997 to 2016 Framework Agreement of 2015

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From 1997 to 2016. Indeed the ceasefire pact between the Government of India and the NSCN (IM) has held out long. That the dialogue between the two entities was on course could be established from the fact that despite the long time it has taken, both sides seem committed to the peace process and the Framework Agreement inked on August 3 in 2015 may be seen as the first concrete fruition of the peace process. Expectedly August 3 this year was observed in a big way in all the Naga dominated districts of Manipur, with the United Naga Council holding fort at Ukhrul, the district which gave Thuingaleng Muivah to the Nagas. The final agreement will come within the framework of the accord signed on August 3 last year and while no one seems to know the finer details of the Framework Agreement, both sides seem serious about the pact. This is encouraging, but yet at the same time it is important for Delhi to keep in mind the interest of the other stakeholders. Any pact signed with the Naga rebels will have to take into consideration the interest and history of neighbouring States such as Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh. That the NSCN (IM) was after a Greater Lim, coming in the name of Nagalim, is no secret. The danger of Manipur, Assam and Arunachal Pradesh losing large chunks of their territory was very real and the June 18 uprising in 2001 witnessed in the valley of Manipur against the phrase ‘without territorial limit’ in the ceasefire agreement between Delhi and the NSCN (IM) reflected the ground reality.
It is still not clear which way the Framework Agreement will proceed and with no one in the know of the final details of the pact, the danger of speculations doing the round is very real. It is this which Delhi must keep in mind. The people too need to keep in mind that letting speculations dictate their mindset and course of action would be foolish. It is a coincidence, no doubt but significant to note that way back before the Framework Agreement was signed on August 3, 2015, the All Manipur United Clubs’ Organisation organised the Manipur Integrity Day whereby the then biggest public rally was staged on August 4 in 1997, after the ceasefire agreement between the NSCN (IM) and Delhi came into force on August 1 the same year. In a way August has become an important month in the peace process between Delhi and the outfit. August 1, August 3 and August 4 can therefore be said to be very important dates in the peace process between the two entities and it would be foolhardy to play down the importance of these dates. Let a final solution be worked out soon but in the process let it also be clear to all that working out a solution to give birth to other problems can have devastating effects. A point which should not blow over the head of anyone.

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