NSCN-IM leader T Muivah, who signed the pact, described it as a momentous occasion. In his brief comments, he praised Mahatma Gandhi who, he said, had understood and respected the Nagas. He lauded the "visionary leadership" of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi described as historic the signing of an accord between the government and the National Socialist Council of Nagaland-IM.

Modi, who was present at the signing of the accord, said the Nagaland political issue had lingered for six decades, taking a huge toll on generations of our people. He praised NSCN-IM leaders T. Muivah and Isak Swu for showing wisdom and courage and for making this effort which resulted in the historical agreement.

"I have the deepest admiration for the great Naga people for their extraordinary support to the peace efforts," he said.

"My relationship with the North East has been deep. I have travelled to Nagaland on many occasions. I have been deeply impressed by the rich and diverse culture and the unique way of life of the Naga people," he said.

The Prime Minister said that "unfortunately, the Naga problem has taken so long to resolve because we did not understand each other".

"The Naga courage and commitment are legendary. Equally, they represent the highest levels of humanism," he added.

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