HNLC responds to MDA’s peace overtures, asks for appointment of mediator to facilitate talks

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SHILLONG, Feb 22: Responding to the Meghalaya Democratic Alliance (MDA) government’s peace overtures, the proscribed Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) has asked the government to appoint a mediator to facilitate the proposed peace talks.

In a statement issued here, HNLC general secretary cum publicity secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw said, “If the government under the leadership of Conrad K Sangma is willing to take this issue forward, it should appoint a mediator. We don’t mind if it appoints the former general secretary of the outfit (Cheristerfield Thangkhiew) or anybody it deems fit.”

Meanwhile, slamming the Government of India, Nongtraw said that whatever has happened in Kashmir, Manipur or Assam totally reflects its failure to bring all the militant outfits to the negotiating table for talks.

“However, if the government wants to talk, the HNLC is ready but we do not want peace to end us in the streets with black flags or sit for hunger strikes in front of the secretariat as this will only make us go back to take up arms again,” he cautioned.

Also Read: Meghalaya government offers ‘unconditional talks’ with militant groups

Stating that the HNLC is not against peace, Nongtraw said, “But the government has taken the issue very lightly. If the government wants peace then why is it putting such conditions that we lay down our arms and then talk, this is absurd.”

Referring to a statement made by Meghalaya Governor on the recent Pulmawa Kashmir incident, he said, “However, we fail to see any statements coming from such people to show their concern on the incident arising out of the inter-state boundary dispute between Assam and Meghalaya.”

Nongtraw also said many have condemned the Pulmawa incident but unfortunately none have spoken out against what he termed as ‘the illegal acts’ of the Indian Army against the Kashmiris.