NEW DELHI, June 15 � The next round of dialogue between the pro-talk faction of ULFA and Government of India is likely to be held in a couple of months� time after they write a formal letter to Government of India expressing their intention to sit for negotiation, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said this here today.
The Chief Minister, however, quickly added that things were moving in the right direction. The militant leaders had written to the Chief Minister ahead of the preliminary round of talks in February, expressing their desire to come to start dialogue unconditionally. The letter was the basis on which dialogue started before the Assembly polls.
The ULFA leaders have to now write to Government of India expressing their intention to come for talks,� the Chief Minister told newsmen after being briefed by government�s interlocutor for talks PC Haldar this morning.
�I am quite confident that their response would be positive,� Gogoi said.
Before the next round of dialogue gets under way, the Centre is also planning to have a ceasefire pact in place and ensure that the militants move into the designated camps.
When asked whether the Government is going to press for surrender of weapons ahead of talks, he said they are undecided. But he added that surrender of weapons was not a major issue.
Gogoi said the ULFA leaders have also conveyed that they want to establish contact with detained ULFA leader Anup Chetia in Bangladesh. �We have no objection if they want to talk with Chetia,� he added.
The Chief Minister, who is calling on Union Home Minister P Chidambaram on Thursday, said that the talks were on course with UPDS and DHD. The later has sought release of two of their leaders from jail. �But this is not up to the government because the courts have to decide on releasing the two leaders,� said Gogoi, admitting that talks with the two outfits were in advanced stage.
On the National Register of Citizens (NRC), Gogoi asserted that while Opposition was sleeping on the issue, it was he who took the initiative to have the NRC updated. However, he ruled out the possibility of fixing a timeframe for updating the vital document.
Meanwhile, the Chief Minister is also calling on External Affairs Minister SM Krishna tomorrow to discuss the latest reports of China seeking to divert Brahmaputra River.
The Chief Minister said an expert panel, set up by the State Government, is also looking into the issue of diversion of the Brahmaputra, besides recommending steps to harness full potential of the river and water management.
Asserting that the issue of Chinese design on diverting Brahmaputra River had been taken up even at the level of the Prime Minister, Gogoi said responsibility of taking up the issue with China lay with the External Affairs Ministry.
Yesterday, the Ministry of External Affairs had said in a statement that a large proportion of the catchment of the Brahmaputra is within Indian territory. �It is important that the States of Arunachal Pradesh and Assam harness and utilize the waters of the Brahmaputra. This is the really important issue,� an official spokesman said.