Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said his government was serious about finding out an "honourable" solution to the vexed ULFA problem but refused to fix any time-frame for it.
Singh said the dialogue process between the government and the banned group has began and the outfit's leadership, headed by 'chairman' Arabinda Rajkhowa, has called on him on Monday.
"We have just started talking to ULFA. They came and called on me. I am very happy (about) what they told me. I assured them that the government of India is absolutely serious to find an honourable solution to all these issues," he said in an interaction with television editors.
Asked whether the government would like to fix any time-frame to complete the peace process with the ULFA given the fact that the dialogue with NSCN(IM) has been continuing for nearly 14 years, the Prime Minister said since the government was dealing with a "difficult problem", it would not be possible for him to fix any time limit.
"The process has just started. It would have been greatest happiness for me if we can say that we complete it immediately. But I know that we are dealing with a difficult problem. It would be wrong on my part to say that right now I can fix a time limit. That will be our effort," he said.
For the first time, a four-member delegation of ULFA, led by Rajkhowa, met the Prime Minister and discussed with him how to carry forward the dialogue process to bring a lasting solution to the ULFA problem.
On February 10, the ULFA delegation met Home Minister P Chidambaram and Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai and began the unconditional talks, after three decades of insurgency.
Today, Singh also complimented Tarun Gogoi-led Congress government in Assam, saying it was "doing very well".
"The peace process is also going forward. This is an added factor which will strengthen the ruling party in Assam," he said.
Asked whether the Congress would be able to return to power for the third consecutive term in Assam, the Prime Minister said "I hope, I think they will do".
Election to the 126-member Assam Assembly is due in April-May.