The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Glimmer of hope in Naga talks

New Delhi, Oct. 10: The chairman of the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isak-Muivah), Isak Chishi Swu, was absent at the outfit’s talks with the Centre today, but his prayers seem to have been answered.

Unlike the tenor of the outfit a few days ago amidst apprehensions about abrogation of the truce in Nagaland, the peace process took off all of a sudden. “It has been decided that talks will henceforth be held twice or thrice a month and the two parties have expressed concern for a peaceful solution,” an NSCN (I-M) source told The Telegraph. The next round of talks could be held by the end of this month, sources said.

Swu usually leads the talks with a prayer before leaving the two sides to do the talking. Though he was absent today, a home ministry source said: “there was a prayer and talks were positive”. The talks began today with the group expressing “concern” but the mood soon became positive. Led by the outfit’s general secretary, Thuingaleng Muivah, a delegation of eight representatives met labour minister Oscar Fernandez, minister of state for Prime Minister’s Office Prithviraj Chauhan and minister of state for home S. Reghupathy.

The officials included Intelligence Bureau director P.C. Haldar, joint secretary (Northeast) in the home ministry, Naveen Verma and interlocutor K. Padmanabhaiah.

Speculation that Muivah was leaving for Europe was also put to rest as sources said he would return to Nagaland after a week.

A committee could soon be formed in the format of a joint working group to study the core issues, sources said.

Top leaders of the Khaplang faction NSCN (K) leaders are expected to be in the capital tomorrow.

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