New Delhi: Two top Naga rebel leaders on Sunday hinted at some progress in the ongoing talks on the vexed Naga issue, saying they acknowledged Government`s "positive" attitude in finding a lasting solution.
NSCN(IM) chairman Isak Chisi Swu said the rebel leadership was in the country at the invitation of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for peace dialogue and hoped that the Centre would keep its promise that any agreement with the outfit would reflect the "unique history" of the Nagas.
"We are committed to an honourable, just and lasting solution," Swu said addressing a function here organized to welcome his visit.
Swu arrived in New Delhi yesterday after a gap of more than a year and also accepted Indian passport for the first time. So far, he was reportedly carrying the passport of a neighbouring nation.
The Naga leader said he welcomed the Indian government’s positive attitude towards the ongoing talks between the group and the interlocutor R S Pandey.
"I thank the Government of India for this initiative and hope that they would not miss the opportunity, he said adding "we acknowledge the positive attitude and effort of the government for creating such a conducive atmosphere".
Admitting that there were differences among Nagas, he said reconciliation among them was the need of the hour.
Addressing the gathering, NSCN(IM) general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah too said the discussions held so far were "positive" and hoped the Centre would do the needful by recognising the Naga identity and in bringing a lasting solution to the six decade-old insurgency problem in Nagaland.
The Naga group has been holding parleys with interlocutor Pandey to iron out differences on several vexed issues including integration of Naga-inhabited areas.
In the last meeting, the NSCN-IM has proposed a federal relationship with the Indian Union with additional financial and legislative powers while the Central government offered financial package for socio-cultural development of Naga people.
A ceasefire was agreed on with NSCN-IM in August, 1997. In May, 1998, the union government had appointed Swaraj Kaushal as the first negotiator. He continued in his post till July 1999. After him, former Home Secretary K Padmanabhaiah took charge as the Centre`s pointsman and continued till last year.
Pandey, a former Petroleum secretary and a 1972 batch Nagaland cadre IAS officer was appointed as a new interlocutor on February 11, 2010.