Nagalim: IM Talks Date Set On 28/29 July
The Centre's stand for July 28-29 peace negotiations with NSCN (IM), which has over 5,000 cadres in arms, will be firmed up at a meeting of Group of Ministers comprising Oscar Fernandes, Prithviraj Chavan and S Regupathy here on July seven. At this meeting, Centre's interlocutor for the Naga peace process K Padmanabhaiah will brief the Group of Ministers (GoM) on the last round of parleys that were held in the Hague from June 22 to 24.National Security Adviser M K Narayanan and Home Secretary V K Duggal will also be attending the discussions.
In a bid to expedite efforts to resolve the Naga insurgency issue, the Centre and NSCN (IM) leaders led by their General Secretary T Muivah have decided to meet every month. "All issues, including that of renewal of ceasefire with NSCN (IM), will figure in the forthcoming Bangkok talks. Issues relating to the Constitutional aspects including that of autonomy will also come up," the sources said. NSCN (IM) and the security forces in Nagaland have been holding fire since 1997 when the ceasefire accord was reached.
The accord has been extended every year since then except last year when it was renewed for just six months on the insistence of the Naga outfit and further extended by another six months in February this year. NSCN(IM) has been demanding a clear government stand on unification of Naga-inhabitated areas in northeast as well as an early and "honourable" settlement to the problem. The sources said the Centre wanted to resolve the Naga issue as a "package" and would be responding point-by-point to the outfit's charter of demands.
"Talks are a continous process. These have to be held in many stages before things can evolve and get a concrete shape. We are not ruling out anything unless something concrete emerges," the sources said. The sources said since the Centre is reluctant to concede the NSCN (IM)'s key demand for unifying all Nagainhabitated areas in the northeast, the rebel group is focussing on "greater autonomy" for Nagaland.
The autonomy issue is part of the 30-point "charter of demands" submitted by the Naga outfit, and this includes a greater say in the utilisation of natural resources, a separate constitution, a separate flag and control in areas like finance and policing, they said.