After five years of tortuous negotiations, the Centre's move to declare a ceasefire with the main militant group in Nagaland seems to be bearing fruit.
With National Socialist Council of Nagalim chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah showing their willingness to come to India and participate in further negotiations, the Centre is currently engaged in the necessary groundwork.
As the first step, the Centre will not renew the longstanding ban on the NSCN-IM scheduled to end on November 26. This, analysts say, will enable the two leaders to travel to New Delhi freely.
Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani chaired a meeting to take stock of the Naga peace process last weekend. The meeting follows the decision to allow the ban on the NSCN-IM under the Prevention of Unlawful Activities Act to lapse.
Advani is working out the details of withdrawing the ban. The meeting also assumes importance because of the attendance of Nagaland Governor Shyamal Dutta. The state government has long complained of not having been kept in the loop about the talks with the militant group.
Others who participated in the meeting included Union Home Secretary N Gopalaswamy, top officials of the Intelligence Bureau, and former home secretary K Padmanabhaiah, who is the government's chief negotiator with the NSCN-IM.
The central government is in the process of fine-tuning its strategy for the next round of political dialogue. Indications are that Padmanabhaiah will go abroad to formally invite the NSCN-IM leaders to come to New Delhi for talks.
Advani had earlier told reporters that preliminary parleys were likely to be held with the NSCN-IM leaders before talks could take place in India.
Meanwhile, the Naga Hoho, apex body of all Naga tribes, has welcomed the decision to lift the ban on the NSCN-IM. "This is a bold step in the right direction, which will broaden the space in finding a negotiated settlement that will be acceptable to both the Nagaland people and the people of India," it said.
Back to top
Tell us what you think of this report