GUWAHATI, Oct 25 � The format of talks between the Government of India and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (I-M) has been changed with both sides agreeing to expedite the talks to find an amicable solution as soon as possible. The talks have been going on for the past 17 years without making much headway and the new Government at the Centre is keen on expediting the process of negotiations for an early solution.
Highly placed sources in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) told The Assam Tribune that a decision has been taken to do away with the practice of holding one or two rounds of formal talks in a year. Such a practice was going on for years without much progress in finding a solution.
Sources said that several rounds of talks have already been held after the path-breaking first round, which was held last month. Now, the Government�s interlocutor and the leaders of the NSCN (I-M) are meeting more frequently and the ultimate aim is not to count the number of rounds of talks, but to find an amicable solution as soon as possible, sources added.
MHA sources revealed that the NSCN leaders also accepted the new format of talks. The NSCN leaders have been told that they can get in touch with the Government�s interlocutor whenever they want to discuss any point. Similarly, the Government�s interlocutor will also get in touch with the NSCN leaders whenever required to discuss any point, sources said. Now the talks will be more like �business meetings� with a definite purpose.
Sources said the Government has already made its points clear to the leadership of the NSCN and the limitations of the Government have been mentioned in clear terms. On the other hand, the NSCN leaders also expressed their limitations on certain issues. Those points are now being discussed in detail to find an amicable solution.
The NSCN leadership also took the help of a number of internationally reputed legal experts to advise them on the finer points of the Constitution of India as the Government has already made it clear that a solution to the issues must be found within the framework of the Constitution.
It may be mentioned here that immediately after coming to power, the BJP-led Government at the Centre expressed its desire to expedite the process of talks with the militant groups which signed ceasefire agreements to solve their problems through talks. The Government has also appointed the chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), RV Ravi, a former Intelligence Bureau Special Director, as its interlocutor for the Naga talks.