Gowda expresses concern about Naga peace talks running into 'rough weather'

Gowda says the ceasefire agreement in 1997, which followed his meeting as Prime Minister with Naga leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah in Zurich, in February that year, was a result of constructive diplomacy.
Expressing concern over the Centre's negotiations with NSCN (IM) to resolve the Naga problem running into "rough weather", former Prime Minister H D Deve Gowda on Monday hoped distrust is put aside and a peace accord is reached at the earliest.

"Newspaper reports indicate that the Union government's negotiations with NSCN (IM) to resolve the Naga problem has run into rough weather. From recent statements made by those involved in the negotiations it is apparent that distrust has crept in," Gowda said in a statement.

He said the ceasefire agreement in 1997, which followed his meeting as Prime Minister with Naga leaders Isak Chishi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah in Zurich, in February that year, was a result of constructive diplomacy.

"We should ensure that the progress made in the last 23 years by successive governments is not forsaken now. There is the Constitution and also the 2015 framework agreement, which should help its move towards a solution," he added.

The NSCN (IM) had attacked the Nagaland Governor and interlocutor for Naga peace talks R N Ravi on Sunday, accusing him of converting a political issue into a law and order problem and adopting a "stratagem" that resulted in the killing and arrest of its members.

In a statement, the NSCN (IM), which has been engaged in peace negotiations with the Centre for the last 23 years, also alleged that Ravi was trying to divide the Naga people and "misled" the central government and a parliamentary standing committee on the framework agreement signed on August 3, 2015.

Stating that he sincerely hopes that distrust is put aside, talks continue, and a peace accord is reached at the earliest, Gowda said, "the people of the North East deserve to live in harmony and witness economic progress."


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