Singing a new tune, the banned ULFA on Friday said violence was against its ideology and all these years it indulged in violent acts as "there was a threat" to the state and its people.
Interacting with a group of Assamese students studying in the national capital, ULFA 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa said the existing political setup poses a threat to Assam and its people that led to the formation of the group and its 31 years of insurgency movement.
"Even though we indulged in violence, we are for peace. Violence is against our ideology," he said while briefing the students about ULFA and its movement.
Perhaps, this is for the first time the top ULFA leader declared that the group was against violence though he has been apologising for the violent acts it had committed. Since its inception in 1979, ULFA has been continuing a bloody insurgent movement in the northeast which has claimed several thousand lives.
Referring to the peace process which began yesterday formally, Rajkhowa said dialogue with the government could not be held in the past as there was no conducive atmosphere and both ULFA and the government was stuck with pre-conditions.
"Following a call by Assam's civil society, we have agreed for the unconditional talks. We are now looking for sincere and meaningful talks to find out a just and honourable solution," he said.
Welcoming the peace initiative, he said government's "behaviour and attitude are positive".
Rajkhowa also sought to remind the May 25, 2005 announcement made by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh when he had said that the government was ready to discuss "all core issues" of ULFA.
"We hope that the government of India will keep its promise," he said.
He refused to speculate when the solution could be found to ULFA's demands, saying it was just beginning of the peace process.