The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Khaplang year-end deadline for rival

Guwahati, July 10: The National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Khaplang) has set a year-end deadline to its rival, the Isak-Muivah faction, to resolve the Naga political problem. Failing this, it plans to start a political dialogue on its own with New Delhi to hammer out a solution to the imbroglio.

NSCN (K) spokesman Khugalu Mulatonu said the NSCN (I-M) should give up its efforts to seek a solution to the problem as “it could not move an inch forward towards resolving the problem even after holding parleys with the Centre for more than five years.

“We had said we will start negotiations with New Delhi only after they (the NSCN-IM) fail to solve the problem. But since there is a solution in sight, we have decided to wait till the end of this year before entering into political talks,” he added.

Mulatonu said by the end of this year, the NSCN (I-M) should resolve the problem, or leave it to the NSCN (K). “They cannot go on fooling the people,” he added.

New Delhi initiated a dialogue with the NSCN (I-M) in 1997 to put an end to the five-decade-long militancy problem in Nagaland. In 2001, the Khaplang faction, too, declared a truce, but peace parleys with the outfit are yet to begin.

“We have received so many offers from the Centre to begin the talks, but we have been refusing peace overtures so long,” he added.

Before starting a dialogue, Mulatonu said his organisation would go in for a referendum to seek the people’s opinions and suggestions. “We don’t want to keep the people in the dark. Unlike the hush-hush parleys they (the Centre and the NSCN-IM) are holding, ours will be transparent and we will follow the wishes of the people,” he said.

He further claimed his organisation was not only capable of solving the Naga political problem, but it could also act as a bridge between the Centre and other militant outfits of the region, which have so far remained aloof to New Delhi’s peace overtures.

“We can play the role of a bridge between the Centre and our allies like the Ulfa, the United National Liberation Front (UNLF), the People’s Revolutionary Party of Kangleipak (Prepak) and the People’s Liberation Army (PLA),” he said.

Asserting that the Khaplang group was “under no pressure”, Mulatonu refuted reports that its council headquarters in the Sagaing division of Myanmar has been overrun by the Myanmarese junta.

“There was not even an operation against us in the area, forget about any attack. In any case, we and our allies are capable of thwarting any attack on our camps, as we have done in the past,” he added.

He said these reports were “yet another propaganda of Indian intelligence agencies to confuse the people.

“Such propaganda will only create a misunderstanding between the NSCN and the Centre and thereby vitiate the peaceful atmosphere,” Mulatonu said.

He said contrary to reports that outfit chairman S.S. Khaplang was on the run following the attack on the camp, he said the NSCN (K) was still in the central headquarters, “safe and sound.”

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