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Centre and ULFA play the waiting game
July 25, 2006 00:12 IST
The government and Assam's insurgent group, United Liberation Front of Asom, each want the other to make the first move for direct talks by holding out assurances to implement their commitments.
While the banned outfit demanded on Monday that the Centre give assurance in writing on fulfilling their three key demands, including release of top five leaders, the Centre has already asked ULFA to ensure a conducive environment for holding the talks and said the process of release of ULFA detenues will start only after 'we receive an assurance'.
"Today I have spoken to National Security Advisor M K Narayanan and Union Home Secretary V K Duggal and told them that the ULFA was looking for a letter from the Government on their three key demands before coming for direct talks," Assamese writer Indira Goswami, who is mediating between the two sides, told PTI.
The three demands ULFA wants to be fulfilled by the government before the direct talks are the release of its top jailed leaders, including its vice-chairman Pradip Gogoi, 'written' assurance that the issue of 'sovereignty' would be discussed and the whereabouts of cadres that went missing in 2003 Bhutan operations.
Union Home Secretary V K Duggal also said ULFA must communicate its demands, including that of release of jailed leaders, directly to the Centre for the peace process to proceed.
Goswami said on Monday that ULFA has informed her that without fulfilment of the three demands it would be difficult for them to come for the direct talks.