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’Process of appointing an interlocutor at an advanced stage’

OUR STAFF CORRESPONDENT

SHILLONG, December 31: The process of appointing the interlocutors for a dialogue with the Hynniewtrep tiol Liberation Council (HNLC) is at advanced stage, informed a well placed official.  While it has taken more than the time fixed by the HNLC, the official said that government has already short listed the probable mes.

Interestingly, the official also gave a hint that the informal process of dialogue through other back channels has begun with the outfit much before the formal announcement of the peace parleys. "I can only tell you that there has been back channel negotiations and nothing else", stated the official when asked by The Sentinel.

He also said that no tentative frame has been fixed for the talks to start yet added there will be no different in the government approach. "The same yard stick that was applied to the garo militants groups is expected to be used because the government has laid down a clear cut policy", stated a source.

Going by the stringent policy, any outfit should shun the path of violence, lay down the arms and join the mainstream. This policy was applied to the recently disbanded ANVC and ANVC–B besides the UALA which has just entered into a peace parleys. More over on the so called "back door negotiations" with the other outfits operating in Garo Hills, the official said there has been none so far except for the UALA. There are still half a dozen militant groups operating in Garo Hills.

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Ankur Kalita

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