Hamletson Dohling
PDF leader Hamletson Dohling. Image credit - meghalayatimes.info

After the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP), now the People’s Democratic Front (PDF)   has urged the Meghalaya government to accept the HNLC’s offer for peace talks seriously.

The Hynniewtrep National Liberation Council (HNLC) recently expressed its willingness to come to the peace talks.

Both the PDF and HSPDP are coalition partners of the MDA government in Meghalaya led by the National People’s Party (NPP).

PDF leader and cabinet minister Hamletson Dohling told the media on Thursday that the party was happy to see that the militant outfit had recently expressed its willingness to come to the negotiating table.

Also read: Meghalaya: HSPDP welcomes HNLC’s offer for talks with govt

Dohling said: “I personally feel we should accept the offer of the HNLC as it is a good sign for the state.”

Minister Dohling informed that the PDF would take up the matter with Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma and home minister James K Sangma regarding the need to take necessary initiatives.

The HNLC on Sunday announced that it was ready for peace talks even within the ambit of the Constitution of India to regain the respect and recognition as a “Nation”.

Also read: HNLC ready for talks to gain respect and recognition as a “Nation”

HNLC general secretary Sainkupar Nongtraw in a statement on Sunday afternoon, said from 2004, they have been expressing their willingness to shun the path of violence and join the mainstream.

“Unfortunately, nothing has materialized,” Nongtraw, who is also the publicity secretary of HNLC, said, adding that they should be given a platform to voice our concerns.

Also read: Meghalaya: Now, HNLC wants separate flag & constitution

The Ministry of Home Affairs of November 18, had issued fresh orders banning the HNLC under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

Earlier, the Hill State People’s Democratic Party (HSPDP) welcomed the peace talks offer of the HNLC and urged the government not to ignore the offer.

Also read: Meghalaya: Centre bans HNLC

“The offer of the HNLC to come to negotiating table is a welcome step and we should not ignore. We want the central and state governments not to take it lightly,” HSPDP president KP Pangniang told reporters on Wednesday night.

Meghalaya chief minister Conrad Sangma earlier said the state government was ready for talks provided that three conditions – arms must be laid down, shun violence and it (offer) should be unconditional – are met.

A media report quoted Dohling as saying: “Therefore, there is need to discuss on how we can move forward and it is only then we can decide whether the talks will be unconditional or with conditions. If required, the matter should also be discussed in the cabinet.”

He also said: “I feel it is also our duty to bring them back to the mainstream and highlight the same to the Centre so that it (offer for peace talks) can be discussed.”

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