Govt likely to extend scope of negotiations with Naga militants beyond Oct 31

Govt likely to extend scope of negotiations with Naga militants beyond Oct 31

Agency News

New Delhi, Oct 28 : In the absence of consensus and hurdles continuing with regard separate flag and constitution for Nagas, the central government is likely to extend the scope of negotiations with Naga militants beyond October 31 deadline.

A team of the NSCN-IM, led by its mercurial general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah, and government's interlocutor and Nagaland Governor RN Ravi held yet another round of talks in the capital on Monday but the parleys remained inconclusive.

According to sources, a final agreement between the NSCN-IM and the government is 'unlikely' to take place on or by October 31.

Mr Ravi, who was appointed as Nagaland Governor in August, was given a deadline to end the talks - which began in 1997 - by October 31.

Sources indicate the government does not want to 'impose' any solution as general feeling is that all stakeholders should agree to principal provisions of the talks, a source said.

The NSCN (IM) is still not ready to sign a pact without a separate flag or constitution, which the government negotiators cannot agree.

On Sunday, former Nagaland Chief Minister and NPF leader T R Zeliang made a strong case for making of 'continued efforts' to end the deadlock.

"The groups especially NSCN (IM) used to say, no unification, no solution....but having taken pragmatic stance, they moved forward for solution," Mr Zeliang had told UNI insisting that "it will not be proper to keep any Naga group outside the final settlement".

The NDPP-BJP alliance government in the state also issued a statement on Monday late evening calling for an early resolution of the issue which is “inclusive, honourable and acceptable to the people.”

The source said: "So far, the central government has not initiated any process to decide what will happen if a pact is inked and whether the elected government and present legislators in the state assembly have to resign or otherwise". The entire process would take some time, the source said. (UNI)