The message was given loud and clear by National Security Adviser Ajit Doval at a function here last evening to create more awareness about the northeast. "There should never be any feeling that it (talks) is protracted. The objective is to bring peace. The (peace) process is the means to an end and if there is an end, which is a desired end, it must be found in real time," said Doval, who made a surprise appearance at the function.
Doval, who has served in the northeast during his long tenure in Intelligence Bureau, said, "There should be rule of law" in the Naga insurgency-affected areas for which "peace process must be completed as early as possible". The NSA was speaking at the function, 'Young Leaders Connect', organised by celebrated football player Baichung Bhutia along with other political and business leaders from the northeast.
The Narendra Modi-led NDA government had appointed Chairman of the Joint Intelligence Committee (JIC), R N Ravi, as the new interlocutor for talks with NSCN-IM. Ravi, who was also earlier looking after the northeast in Intelligence Bureau, said that talks with the rebel group are underway.
However, when asked if any timeline had been set for finding a solution, he said, "It is too premature to comment on that." The Centre and NSCN-IM had signed a ceasefire pact in 1997 with the aim of bringing an end to the insurgency movement by the Naga rebel group. Several rounds of talks have since been held between the two parties in the last 17 years, but without any agreement. The Naga rebel group was initially fighting for a sovereign state but later on demanded the formation of a 'Greater Nagaland' which would integrate all the Naga inhabited areas of the northeast. That demand was opposed by not only the Centre but also the neighbouring states like Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh.