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Key ULFA negotiator takes a long break
K Anurag in Guwahati | November 17, 2006 21:34 IST
The key negotiator for the banned United Liberation Front of Asom, Dr Indira Goswami, top Assamese litterateur, has decided to take a break from the peace initiative that has now been bogged down by a stalemate.
Though Goswami who was the bridge between the National Security Adviser and the ULFA nominated People's Consultative Group, did not term it as walking out of the peace process, her decision to stay away from it for a long period to help herself carry on with her literary pursuits would serve a big blow to the entire process.
The litterateur was apparently disillusioned after her close association with the much-hyped peace process that was yet to fructify.
"I am a writer. I am not a politician. I have nothing to hide and the people of Assam should know what is going on. I am hurt and disappointed," said the former Delhi University professor, on her return from New Delhi.
"Now the ULFA should talk directly with the Government of India and the People's Consultative Group is there to help them. My colleague in the PCG, Reboti Phukan is also there to carry forward from here.
"He can handle the job well from now. My job is over. I have taken the peace process to this far" she said.
However, she said it was not a permanent walkout from the process and that she would be there to help the process in case of a major crisis that required her to play a role. But for now, it is thus far and no further for her in respect of the peace initiative.
She said she needed a break for at least two years to complete some of her unfinished literary works.
She made it clear that she was not happy with the degree of hostility ULFA had shown of late despite the peace initiative.
"Why so much of hostility. The Centre said they would discuss core issues. What more does the ULFA want? I am grateful that they had given me enough respect and with the same respect, I am now taking a break to help myself carry on with my literary pursuits.
"Reboti Phukon has better understanding and contact with the ULFA than me," she said.
Walkout or not, the long break taken by the Jnanpith Award winner would not augur well for the peace process given that her involvement could impart some sort of credibility to the initiative and the government of India officials were respectful for her because of her standing in the literary field of the country.