Guwahati, Sep 22 : More than ten months after the last round of talks, a high-level delegation of NSCN (IM) leaders have arrived in the national capital at the invitation of the government of India for resumption of the Naga peace talks.
The delegation led by its chairman Isak Chisi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah will first meet different officials before attending the formal discussions slated sometime next week. The delegation arrived in New Delhi on Saturday.
It was in November last year that New Delhi had held the last round of discussions, while a meeting with then prime minister Manmohan Singh, slated for December 6, 2013 was cancelled at the last moment. A delegation of the NSCN (IM) had visited New Delhi in March this year after the Centre had called off another round of talks in view of the Lok Sabha elections.
There have been speculations in the media in Nagaland about NSCN (IM) leaders also meeting Prime Minister Modi, especially in view of then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee appreciating the “unique history of the Nagas” during his visit to Nagaland in July 2002.
The NSCN (IM) has been on a ceasefire with the government of India since August 1, 1997, following which it has held a series of discussions with New Delhi. While the group has dropped its demand for ‘sovereignty’, but it has maintained that it would continue to press for integration of all Naga-inhabited areas.
The group had earlier this month taken exception to the appointment of former IB special director RN Ravi as New Delhi’s new interlocutor in view of certain remarks made by him in an newspaper column in December last year. This had prompted new Nagaland governor and veteran BJP leader PB Acharya to clarify that Ravi’s article was written much before the new government was elected.