There is as yet no breakthrough in the Centre’s talks with the Nationalist Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) to hammer out peace in the northeastern region.
Though NSCN-IM’s General Secretary T Muivah called on Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday after he expressed a desire to meet her, a solution to the Nagaland problem is still a long way off.
Describing Muivah’s meeting as a "courtesy call," sources unwilling to be named said that though the Centre and the Naga group agree that there should be a solution to the problem stemming from the NSCN-IM’s demand for a greater Nagaland (which includes districts from Manipur, Assam and Arunachal), there are differences on what the solution should be.
The NSCN-IM leader is also reportedly keen to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. But after Sonia met Muivah, a suitable time gap would be allowed before he gets to interact with the PM. In fact, such a meeting could take place whenever official level talks with the Naga group takes place.
The NSCN-IM is said to be concerned about the attacks on its cadres in Nagaland by rival groups, including the Khaplang faction. Muivah, who reportedly raised this issue with Sonia and Union Minister Oscar Fernandes, the Centre’s emissary for talks with the Naga group, has already left for Kolkata.
He is slated to go to Nagaland to join NSCN-IM chairman Isak Chisi Swu. The two leaders, who are based in Thailand, are expected to stay in India for a couple of months.
The NSCN, which was set up in 1980 on the plank of a greater Nagaland, split in 1988. Since a ceasefire with the Centre was agreed on in 1997, there have been several round of talks with the government.