Govt, NSCN(IM) should give up pre-condition: Rio | india | Hindustan Times
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Govt, NSCN(IM) should give up pre-condition: Rio

india Updated: Feb 15, 2009 10:03 IST

PTI
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Frustrated over the long delay in finding solution to the Naga issue, Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday said both the Centre and the NSCN(IM) should give up their rigid stands and find a practical political formula to bring an end to the six-decade-old problem.

"People are getting frustrated. Civil society, Naga Hoho, students, church and everybody want permanent peace. So, both sides should give up their respective pre-conditions and find a practical political solution," Rio told PTI here.

Rio said the rebels as well as the government were stuck in their "rigid stands" resulting in almost complete halt in the peace negotiations.

"By playing hide and seek game, we cannot solve the problem," he said, adding, "But I still believe that with some give and take, we can bring permanent peace in Nagaland."

The NSCN-IM has been pressing for formation of a "Greater Nagalim" comprising all Naga-inhabited areas in the Northeast. However, this has been opposed by Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.

The Centre is also believed to be not so keen to discuss the issue in greater length as it would bring adverse reactions from the three Northeastern states.

The chief minister said the state government, as facilitator of the peace talks, has constituted a political affairs' committee to assess the minds of common people and find out the practical solution to the problem.

NSCN(IM), which submitted a 20-point charter of demands to the Centre, had sought separate representation at the UN and greater rights over natural resources, finance, defence and policing, besides unification of Naga-inhabited areas.

The government has held over 60 rounds of talks with the NSCN(IM) both in India as well abroad to find an amicable solution to the Naga issue.

NSCN(IM) and security forces in Nagaland have been observing a truce since August 1997. The ceasefire had been extended every 12 months till August last year when it was extended for indefinite period.

Rio has already requested Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to expedite the peace process, noting that the initial euphoria over Delhi's initiative towards resolving the issue was now being replaced by "scepticism" in public mind.

Union Labour Minister Oscar Fernandes, Prithviraj Chavan, Minister of State in the Prime Minister's Office, and former Union home secretary K Padmanabhaiah had been holding talks with the Naga leadership. Chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah lead the NSCN(IM) in the peace talks.