6-month extension for Naga ceasefire pact

New Delhi, Jan 31 | Updated: Feb 1 2006, 05:30am hrs
Just before the end of the current eight-year-old ceasefire on Tuesday midnight, the Centre and the National Socialist Council of Nagalim (Isaac-Muivah), after four days of intense negotiations in Bangkok, agreed to extend the truce in Nagaland by another six months.

The ceasefire has been given an extension continually from 1997 onwards, when it was first brokered.

While the Indian side at the talks was led by Indian Overseas Affairs Minister Oscar Fernandes, aided by veteran negotiator K Padmanabhaiah, the NSCN(IM) side was headed by its general secretary T Muivah.

Discussions were held between Government of Indias representatives and the NSCN delegation from January 28 to 31, 2006. As both sides recognise that there has been insufficient progress in the talks, it was decided to carry the political negotiations expeditiously forward taking new initiatives, a joint statement signed in Bangkok on Tuesday said.

It was also agreed to re-activate and make effective mechanisms to address all cease-fire issues including modification of Ground Rules. In view of the need to maintain a congenial atmosphere for the political negotiations to fructify, it has been mutually decided to extend the ceasefire by six months with effect from February 1, 2006, the statement added.