‘Assam CM ‘capable person’, ‘no objection’ if he is made mediator for peace talks’

Guwahati, Sep 08 (PTI):
The banned ULFA (Independent) has said the outfit has “no objection” if Assam Chief Minister Himanta Sarma is appointed the mediator by the Centre for talks with the outfit, saying he is a “capable person” who knows the historical perspective of the problem.
The chief minister has been repeatedly saying since assuming office that he will try his best to solve the problem of insurgency and his initiative appears to be “genuine and a bold step towards resolving the long-standing problems of the state”, ULFA(I) chief Paresh Baruah told a local television channel.
“If the government of India appoints him as the mediator, then we have no objection to it. He is a capable person who knows the historical perspective of the problem. We are hopeful that he will find a remedy to the 42-year-old issue,” Baruah said.
It is ULFA’s firm belief that as the chief minister is “fully aware of our struggle, he will be able to present the problem and its historical background before the powers in Delhi in a much better manner than any other mediator appointed by the Government of India,” he said.
Baruah said his underground organisation is hopeful that Sarma will be able to convince the Centre about the complexity of the problem which needs to be resolved.
Sarma knows that this is a “political issue created by political leaders” and it is they who must take the process forward to resolve it, Barua added.
Sarma, after taking oath on May 10, had appealed to the ULFA(I) to come forward for peace talks and resolve the issue.
He had recently claimed before reporters that an informal channel of communication has been opened with the ULFA (I) and said he was hopeful that the “matter will be resolved in the next two to three years”.
The ULFA(I) chief claimed no other chief minister has shown “this kind of genuine interest” to resolve the issue.
“He has been able to assure the people of Assam that a solution may be possible and so we are also hopeful. In an armed struggle, operations and negotiations continue simultaneously. We are not opposed to dialogue and our doors for talks are always open,” he said.

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