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Optimism after talks; GoI-NSCN (I-M) committed to early solution

Government of India’s interlocutor R. S. Pandey(L) and NSCN (I-M) general secretary, Th Muivah addressing a press conference in Kohima on Tuesday. (NP)
Correspondent KOHIMA, JUN 1 (NPN):
Published on 2 Jun. 2010 12:30 AM IST
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The first ever talks in Naga soil, between the representatives of the Government of India and the NSCN(I-M) at the Heritage Complex Kohima today, concluded after three hours, with both sides assuring they would pursue an early negotiated settlement that is acceptable to both.
“We will pursue our negotiation to reach a conclusion as early as possible and there should be no hurdles on the way ” said R.S.Pandey the Centre Interlocutor while addressing a joint press conference with NSCN(I-M) general secretary Th.Muivah
Pandey said both sides had a free and frank exchange of views on various issues and largely revolved around the demands which the NSCN(I-M) had submitted earlier when talks first began.
“ There are issues which conclusions are yet to be made” he said while reiterating that the government of India had already recognized the uniqueness of Naga history.
On the issue of the demand for integration , Pandey made it clear that no state boundary could be altered without the required consensus. At the same time, the Interlocutor added, that such aspirations of the Nagas could not be ignored also. Pandey assured that the constitution of India was inclusive enough as it provides the concept of ‘shared sovereignty’ .
Describing the ongoing political negotiations as “very sensitive”, Pandey appealed to the media to also contribute towards peace to resolve the Naga issue, adding “difficulties should be appreciated”.
He also disclosed that the Centre has invited the NSCN(I-M) delegation for the next round of talks at New Delhi.
Muivah described today’s talks as “ significant” with both sides serious at arriving at a negotiated settlement. At the same time, he also appreciated the seriousness shown by the government of India.
“Prime Minister of India gave his commitment after serious exchange of words and said that there must be solution acceptable to both”, Muivah said. Expressing the hope that the prime minister was serious about the commitment, Muivah said “We’ve to explore any means, and now we’ll try to push forward the talks”.
On the demand for integration, Muivah said that it was natural that Nagas don’t want to be divided and expressed the hope that the government of India will solve it.
“We understand their problem, but with patience,” he said. Muivah expressed the hope that inspite of the difficulties, the government of India would come forward.
He said anything that would be just for the cause of the Naga aspiration could be solved.
He also reminded the Centre’s representative that India should try to respect the aspirations of the Nagas.
On the ongoing crisis in Manipur over his proposed visit to his birthplace Somdal, Muivah said it would not be so easy to solve but added, both the Centre and Manipur should solve it. He squarely blamed the government of Manipur for the actions that resulted in the deaths of two innocent people and injuries to hundreds.

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