UPF-KNO delegates raise territorial council demand

The newly appointed interlocutor for political dialogue involving the Government of India, Government of Manipur and UPF and KNO chaired the 6th round of political talks Wednesday in New Delhi, where demand for territorial council was tabled by UPF and KNO delegates.

In an unprecedented development, the Centre appointed former special secretary of the Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) AB Mathur to take over as interlocutor for the peace talks.

Prior to the political talks, delegates of governments and UPF and KNO bid adieu to Dineshwar Sharma, former interlocutor of the peace negotiation.

During the talks, a draft outline of the political demand for formation of territorial council in Manipur signed by UPF spokesperson Aaron Kipgen and KNO negotiator Dr Seilen Haokip was submitted to the government while keeping the demand for statehood in abeyance.

Six delegates from United People’s Front (UPF) and seven from Kuki National Organisation (KNO) represented the two umbrella organisations of Kuki outfits in the peace negotiation.

Speaking over telephone, Aaron Kipgen informed that the peace negotiation is moving in the right direction and several crucial issues have been discussed to provide constitutional safeguard to Kukis in Manipur since start of the first political dialogue on June 15, 2016.

“UPF and KNO are thus committed to resolve the age-old political issue with the Centre and state governments for peaceful co-existence with all the communities in Manipur", asserted the UPF spokesperson, who is also the KNF general secretary.

KNO negotiator Dr Seilen Haokip said that the historical symbiotic and cordial relations between valley people and Kukis, which was based on self-determination of each community and respect for each other’s identity and territory will be renewed and strengthened by territorial council for the Kuki people.

Meanwhile, delegates of UPF and KNO had a threadbare consultation prior to the 6th round of political talks on January 9 at the national capital and discussed various crucial issues.

During the meeting, the delegates emphasised the critical need to resolve the issue of identity in view of the common interest to reach a political settlement at the earliest possible.
They also resolved to raise the issue to the top leaders of the two umbrella organisations for a nationwide consultation and following their consent, public meetings be held involving civil society leaders, intellectuals, academics, church leaders as soon as possible in view of their common interest to reach an early political settlement.

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