The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Swu in Dutch break from talks

New Delhi, Feb. 14: A visa-extension formality tonight took Naga insurgent leader Isak Chishi Swu back to Amsterdam after a gruelling day in New Delhi, during which he and NSCN (I-M) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah held a series of meetings with leaders across the political spectrum.

Sources said Swu would be back in the capital, possibly sometime next month, after renewing his Dutch residence permit. The NSCN (I-M) chairman's residence permit is due to expire later this fortnight.

Swu and Muivah spent the day meeting leaders of various political parties to ensure that the lack of a political consensus on key issues, including the demand for integration of Naga-inhabited areas, does not impede the progress of the process that has brought the duo to India.

Among the leaders the seven-member NSCN (I-M) delegation spoke to was BJP president and former deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani. Swu and Muivah had met several political leaders, including former prime ministers, soon after their arrival in New Delhi in December.

The NSCN (I-M) think tank is expected to continue meeting more political leaders until Parliament meets on February 25 for the budget session.

V.S. Atem, who is the emissary of the outfit's 'collective leadership', said after the meeting with Advani that the NSCN (I-M) had understood the 'political equations' in the country and realised the need to meet leaders of all parties to make them aware of the Naga problem.

'It was a short meeting...There was no difference in the perception of both sides,' Atem said of the meeting with the BJP chief.

He said the delegation stressed the need for an 'honourable negotiated settlement', as emphasised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, too.

The Naga leaders, however, clarified to the Prime Minister recently that the community could not consider any settlement as 'honourable' ' a word that Singh has used on more than one ocassion ' unless unification of Naga-inhabitated areas was a part of the deal.

Swu and Muivah are understood to have apprised Advani of the meetings during their extended stay in Nagaland, especially the consultative process with members of all Naga tribes at the NSCN (I-M) headquarters, Camp Hebron.

Advani reportedly reiterated his support to the ongoing political dialogue though the National Democratic Alliance was no longer in power. He said any solution arrived at by the NSCN (I-M) and Delhi should fulfil the wishes of the Naga community.

The NSCN (I-M) leaders have already held two rounds of talks with a group of Union ministers led by Oscar Fernandez.

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