PM says govt to find out ''honourable'' solution to ULFA problem

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 16 (PTI) Prime Minister Manmohan Singhtoday said his government was serious about finding out an"honourable" solution to the vexed ULFA problem but refused tofix any time-frame for it.

Singh said the dialogue process between the governmentand the banned group has began and the outfit''s leadership,headed by ''chairman'' Arabinda Rajkhowa, has called on him onMonday.

"We have just started talking to ULFA. They came andcalled on me. I am very happy (about) what they told me. Iassured them that the government of India is absolutelyserious to find an honourable solution to all these issues,"he said in an interaction with television editors.

Asked whether the government would like to fix any time-frame to complete the peace process with the ULFA given thefact that the dialogue with NSCN(IM) has been continuing fornearly 14 years, the Prime Minister said since the governmentwas dealing with a "difficult problem", it would not bepossible for him to fix any time limit.

"The process has just started. It would have beengreatest happiness for me if we can say that we complete itimmediately. But I know that we are dealing with a difficultproblem. It would be wrong on my part to say that right now Ican fix a time limit. That will be our effort," he said.

For the first time, a four-member delegation of ULFA, ledby Rajkhowa, met the Prime Minister and discussed with him howto carry forward the dialogue process to bring a lastingsolution to the ULFA problem.

On February 10, the ULFA delegation met Home Minister PChidambaram and Home Secretary Gopal K Pillai and began theunconditional talks, after three decades of insurgency.

Today, Singh also complimented Tarun Gogoi-led Congressgovernment in Assam, saying it was "doing very well".

"The peace process is also going forward. This is anadded factor which will strengthen the ruling party in Assam,"he said.

Asked whether the Congress would be able to return topower for the third consecutive term in Assam, the PrimeMinister said "I hope, I think they will do".

Election to the 126-member Assam Assembly is due inApril-May.

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