Nagaland CM urges Centre to expedite Naga peace talks (Lead)

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Kohima : Nagaland Chief Minister Neiphiu Rio on Wednesday appealed to the Centre and Naga groups involved in the ongoing parleys to expedite the peace process and arrive at a political solution to the insurgency problem at the earliest.

He said that the ruling People's Democratic Alliance government was committed to play the role of an "active facilitator" in the ongoing negotiations between the two groups.

"In our meeting with the tribal Hohos... it was unanimously resolved to urge all Naga political groups, including NSCN-K (National Socialist Council of Nagaland-Khaplang) to renew the ceasefire with the Indian government and join the peace talks to realise an inclusive solution," the Chief Minister said after unfurling the Tricolour at the Secretariat Plaza here to mark the 72nd Independence Day of the country.

He said that several measures were taken to create a conducive atmosphere to ensure the end of Naga insurgency, include setting up of a Political Affairs Committee and holding of consultations with tribal Hohos and civil society groups.

Rio said that he urged all sections of the Naga society to come together to strengthen the peace process and create a congenial environment for the successful conclusion of the ongoing negotiations.

"On our (state government) part, we reiterate our commitment to pave the way for an alternative arrangement that may arise from the political agreement."

On amalgamation of all contiguous Naga areas, the Chief Minister appealed to the neighbouring states of Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur to appreciate the history and democratic rights of the Nagas in this respect to facilitate harmonious coexistence and brotherhood.

The Chief Minister said that a lot needs to be done in Nagaland vis-a-vis the infrastructure.

"We need to build roads and maintain them, create employment opportunities for our youths to enable them to live their dreams and reach their potential."

He said that lasting peace was needed in Nagaland as a conducive environment for investors that allows them to do business without compromising on Naga history, customs and culture.

"This will help create jobs and bolster our economy. This is an achievable goal and we have a great opportunity to be an equal and proud partner in the Indian growth story."

Thousands of people across Nagaland celebrated the 72nd Independence Day amidst tight security as Rio unfurled the Tricolour at the Secretariat Plaza here and took the salute from marching contingents of paramilitary forces, Nagaland Police, National Cadet Corps, Scouts and Guides, besides school children.