HNLC lauds Meghalaya’s BJP minister for peace initiative

Correspondent SHILLONG, JUN 25 | Publish Date: 6/25/2020 1:19:34 PM IST

The outlawed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC), a militant outfit in Meghalaya on Thursday lauded the stand taken by the Meghalaya State Unit of the BJP under the leadership of State Health and Family Welfare Minister, A.L. Hek to initiate peace talks with it and appreciated the minister’s move to “give peace a chance”.

“After decades of fake promises from politicians, we are now pleased to know that A L Hek has taken full responsibility to carry forward the peace initiatives with the Prime Minister and Union Home Minister including the other leaders of the NDA government. 

This is indeed a positive gesture shown by the BJP state unit and we welcome this move,” HNLC General Secretary, Sainkupar Nongtraw stated in his e-mail statement.

“After getting positive responses from your end, we have realized that we need to live to give back to our society. We are hoping for a positive outcome from this initiative which will enable us to build bridges, with the government of India,” the outfit said.

On Tuesday, Hek said that it was the sole prerogative of the Central government to decide whether the outlawed HNLC could be invited for unconditional talks with the government or the outlawed outfit would have to lay down arms first for such peace initiative.

“Anybody who wants to go for peace talks we welcome. But (the conditions) is at the prerogative or advise of the central government,” he said, adding that he himself in particular and the State BJP was ready to facilitate talks between the Centre and the HNLC.

The HNLC, which runs hit-and-run operations from its hideout in Bangladesh, had on December, 2019 said that it was ready for peace talks even within the ambit of the Constitution of India to regain the respect and recognition as a “Nation”.

Meghalaya shares a 443 km long border with Bangladesh part of which is porous, hilly , unfenced and prone to frequent infiltrations. 

“We believe it is high time for us to lay aside our prejudices and biases, to be able to find a common ground for peace to flourish. While it is long overdue, we believe that opening and sustaining the space for a dialogue and consensus building will lead to the peaceful resolution of the age old conflict that has been going for the last three decades or more,” Nongtraw said.

“AL Hek has opened this door of opportunity that paved way for us in expressing our willingness to come forward for peace talks. This step would surely create a conducive atmosphere to take things forward to the negotiating table,” it added.

“We respect the gestures of AL Hek and we also assure him that we  shall work with sincerity along with our mind our dedication and our honesty to build bridges rather than walls. 

Our objective of peace is about resolving our conflict without violence,” Nongtraw said, adding that “… as stated by the Health Minister AL Hek, we give him the full liberty to go ahead with his proposal and carry forward our message of peace to the Prime minister Narendra Modi and the other NDA leaders.” 


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