Paresh Baruah
Paresh Baruah

The United Liberation Front of Asom (Independent) (ULFA-I) is likely to revive the people’s consultative group (PCG) to hold initial talks with the Centre if the issue of sovereignty is included in the agenda of talks.

According to an Assam Tribune report, ULFA (I) chief Paresh Baruah is not against the idea of talks with the Centre.

“Baruah is not against the idea of talks with the Government of India. But he is of the view that talks should be held on the issue of sovereignty of Assam,” the newspaper quoted former PCG member Hiranya Saikia as saying.

Saikia said during the informal conversation, Baruah also told him that if the Centre agrees to talk on the issue of sovereignty, he might reconstitute the PCG with likeminded people to hold initial parleys to pave the way for formal talks.

The ULFA had formed the PCG in 2005 to hold parleys with the Government to pave the way for formal talks.

The PCG held three rounds of talks with the Government of India.

But the PCG withdrew from the process in 2006 alleging “lack of seriousness” on the part of the Government.

Among the members of the erstwhile PCG, renowned author Mamoni Raisom Goswami and engineer Mukul Mahanta died, while the whereabouts of Rebati Phukan is not known.

Senior journalist Haidar Hussain, who was also a member of the PCG, has already expressed his reluctance to be a part of it.

Senior journalist Ajit Kr Bhuyan, AGP leaders Dilip Patgiri, former MAAS leader Lachit Bordoloi were also among the members of the PCG.

Official sources said Centre is unlikely announce that it would talk on the issue of sovereignty.

“The Government of India wants an end to militancy in the North East, but it will be difficult for any Government to agree to discuss sovereignty of any State,” said an official.

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