GUWAHATI, June 30 - The death of the chairman of the NSCN(I-M), Isak Chisi Swu is a huge loss to the ongoing talks process, but the Government will carry forward the peace process and try to find a solution as early as possible, said the Centre�s interlocutor for Naga talks, RN Ravi.
Talking to The Assam Tribune, Ravi pointed out that Swu was a senior leader of Nagaland and he had huge influence over the people of the State. He had towering presence on the peace talks between the Government of India and the NSCN(I-M), he said.
Ravi pointed out that Swu was not keeping well for the past about eight months and he did not take active part in the talks during the period. But he was kept informed about the major developments and he even signed the framework agreement between the Government and the militant outfit.
Replying to a question on whether the death of Swu would affect the peace process, Ravi said that as far as the Government of India is concerned, the talks would be taken to its logical conclusion. He said that the Government is keen on finding early solution to the issue as talks have been going on for a long time.
He also pointed out that it is up to the NSCN(I-M) to decide who would be the next chairman of the organisation. �It is an organisational matter of the NSCN(I-M) and the Government has nothing to do with that. But the Government is of the view that the death of Swu should not slow down the process of talks,� he added.
On the progress of talks, Ravi said that substantial headway has been made since the signing of the framework agreement last year. He admitted that there have been some differences of opinion on certain issues and efforts are on to iron out the differences so that the final agreement can be reached at an early date.
Ravi revealed that consultations with the governments and people of Nagaland and Arunachal are progressing well. He pointed out that major issues can be settled only through talks. There were apprehensions in the minds of the governments and people of Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh over the talks with NSCN. During the consultations, they raised their issues and the Government�s views were made clear to them. The Centre has made it clear that nothing would be imposed on any State, as, in a democratic country, the Centre cannot impose any decision on any State. Every decision will be taken in consultation with the stakeholders, he said.
The Centre�s interlocutor admitted that the Government of Assam is yet to participate in the process of consultations on the Naga talks. The Assam Government did not attend the talks when it was invited a few months back saying that it would not be possible for it to attend the talks as the elections to the State Assembly was approaching. Ravi said that he would soon remind the Assam Government about the invitation to attend the consultations on the Naga talks and hoped that the new Government would soon make its stand clear on the issue.