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NSCN-IM sets deadline

Kohima, Sept. 4: The National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah) has threatened to call off the ongoing ceasefire with Delhi if a solution to the Naga problem is not reached within a year.

NSCN (I-M) chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah told a visiting delegation of legislators from Nagaland that the outfit would have no option other than calling off the ceasefire if a solution was not reached within one year from the date of renewal of the agreement. The agreement was renewed on July 31.

Chairman of the state public accounts committee, Azo Neinu, who led the legislators’ delegation to Bangkok, told The Telegraph that the outfit’s leaders sounded optimistic about an early solution to the Naga imbroglio. “The rebel leaders said since the talks were initiated by former Prime Minister P.V. Narasimha Rao, a Congressman, they were positive about an early solution to the problem,” Neinu said.

The seven-member state delegation spoke to the rebel leaders for over an hour at Hotel Holiday Inn in Bangkok on August 23. They returned early this week after a “study tour” of Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong and China.

Another member of the delegation said the rebel leaders had praised Atal Bihari Vajpayee and L.K. Advani for understanding the problem well. The rebel leaders further said the present United Progressive Alliance government in Delhi needed to study the problem more deeply.

The Isak-Muivah duo said if any solution proposed by Delhi was acceptable to them, they would try to put an end to the problem within a year.

The NSCN (I-M) and Delhi had signed a ceasefire agreement in 1997, which has been renewed every year since then.

This year, till the eleventh hour, the outfit insisted on pulling out of the talks if the UPA government did not change its Common Minimum Programme, which states that the territorial integrity of the northeastern states would be maintained.

This year’s talks were held in July at Chiang Mai in Thailand.

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