Guwahati/New Delhi: The government has
agreed in principle to start peace talks with the banned ULFA
and former Intelligence Bureau chief P C Haldar will act as
interlocutor, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi today said.
An official release quoting Gogoi, who held a meeting
with Union Home Minister P Chidamabaram in New Delhi, said the
peace process with the ULFA was "moving in right direction"
with the state cabinet deciding to start talks in principle.
"With today`s declaration, there seems to be no hurdle
to peace talks with the majority of ULFA leaders including
`chairman` Arabinda Rajkhowa and `vice chairman` Pradeep Gogoi
favouring negotiation," it said.
Gogoi also said that he might go ahead with the talks
sans elusive ULFA `commander-in-chief` Paresh Baruah, a known
anti-talk leader, "as the government cannot wait for him very
Assuring full support to the Assam government`s
endeavour to start the peace process with the ULFA,
Chidambaram said "it is important that the group showed its
willingness to sit for talks", the release said.
The Home Minister told Gogoi that Haldar would act as
interlocutor for talks with the ULFA, it said.
In Delhi, Gogoi told reporters that the Assam
government is in the process of chalking out modalities for
holding talks with the group.
He said he is consulting the ULFA leadership, most
of whom are in jail in Assam, in this regard.
"We can`t wait for Paresh Barua for an indefinite
time. We have appealed to him to come. But so far the response
is not positive," Gogoi said, adding, "We are sincere in
He had yesterday briefed Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on his government`s preparedness to hold dialogue with ULFA.
In a separate meeting with UPA chairperson Sonia
Gandhi, Gogoi discussed the law order situation and the
prevailing flood problem in the state, it said.