Nagalim: Ceasefire with NSCN-IM extended by one year
Clearing the air on the future of peace talks with the Naga insurgent group National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) following Congress-led United Progressive Alliance's coming to power, the Centre on Friday asserted the exercise is 'back on track' and said the the ceasefire between the two sides, which expires tomorrow, has been extended by one year.
The Centre and the insurgent group entered into a ceasefire accord in 1997 and have continued with the peace process since then. The government has also reached a ceasefire agreement with Khaplang faction of NSCN.
Padmanabhaiah had met the NSCN-IM leadership in Amsterdam last month.
In January last year, Swu and Muivah had visited Delhi and met then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and his deputy L K Advani.
The talks between NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chisiswu and Secretary-general T Muivah on one side and government's interlocutor K Padmanabiah began in Thailand's ancient capital town of Chiangmei on Friday.
"The government is confident that a joint statement would be issued," National Security Adviser J N Dixit told reporters in Bangkok.
"The talks are on track and they are expected to be completed tonight," Dixit said.
He said the perception that the government suddenly changed the venue of talks with NSCN-IM because of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's presence in Bangkok for the BIMSTEC summit was not correct.
"Well, it will conclude tonight. It is my anticipation that they (talks) are completely on track. All indications I came across here is that the negotiations will continue. Automatically it is indicated on the fact that the ceasefire will continue," Dixit said.
He said he was not planning to meet the Naga insurgent group leaders nor had he any occasion to talk to them. There are government representatives dealing with that and those representatives will continue to do so.
Regarding reservations NSCN-IM have with UPA's Common Minimum Programme on the Naga issue, Dixit said as per the CMP there shall not be any erosion of the current territory status of the northeastern states.
The NSCN-IM, however, wants 'Greater Nagaland', which includes Naga dominated areas of other states adjoining Nagaland.
"Taking into account the totality of the territorial limits of the existing states, that is a matter to be discussed and that's what we are doing," Dixit said.