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Optimism over Hmar peace talks

Aizawl: The Mizoram government is optimistic about the outcome of the ongoing peace talks with Hmar militants as it is nearing the final stage, home minister R. Lalzirliana said on Friday.

Addressing a political session at the Congress Bhawan here, Lalzirliana said the first political-level talks have been scheduled for March 5 here.

He said both the state government and the Hmar militants have been holding peace parleys since August 10, 2016.

"The peace talks were held under friendly atmosphere and mutual trust. It is because of this that we have been able to proceed for political level talks in March," he said.

A senior official in the state home department said Lalrinmawia Ralte, a political adviser to the chief minister and sitting MLA from Hachhek constituency, was likely to head the state government delegation in the first round of the talks with the HPC (D) militants, led by H. Zosangbera.

HPC (D) spokesperson Lalthalien told The Telegraph over phone that they have not yet decided on their delegation as the government is yet to inform them about the proposed peace talks. "We will convene a meeting to decide on the HPC (D) delegation as soon as official intimation is received from the state government." he said.

The talks between the state government and HPC (D) was revived in 2016, three years after it had ended in a deadlock over extension of the period of suspension of operation in 2013.

The official-level talks held between August 2016 and September 2017 revolved around strengthening and according more autonomy to the Sinlung Hills Development Council, which was the outcome of the peace accord between the Mizoram government and the erstwhile Hmar People's Convention (HPC) in 1994.

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