Former Nagaland Chief Minister and top NPF leader TR Zeliang on Tuesday said that newly appointed interlocutor for Naga peace talks, AK Mishra can break the ice and take the peace process forward.

While maintaining that different stakeholders were interacting with AK Mishra since last year, Zeliang said that the Intelligence Bureau officer was able to gain the confidence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to pursue the decades long issue besides being familiar with the NSCN-IM.

Talking exclusively to Northeast Live, the NPF leader added that the new interlocutor has a better understanding of things.

Zeliang also pointed out that the formation of an opposition-less government will help in reaching out to the NSCN-IM and the 7 NNPGs with a common approach. While urging the 14 tribes to form a single apex body, Zeliang said that coming together of the 60 MLAs and the apex tribal body will make it easy to communicate with the Centre as well as the negotiating groups.

In a significant statement referring to the past, the former chief minister said that civil society groups had contradicted each other, which had confused the Centre and led to division between the NSCN-IM and the NNPGs. Creation of one voice will help the newly appointed interlocutor as well as the negotiating groups to understand what needs to be done to achieve the solution.

TR Zeliang said people are wishing that the vexed Naga issue would be resolved before the Christmas. He said that if this happens, than it would be a Christmas gift for the state.

Zeliang believes that if the 2 groups namely the NSCN-IM and NNPGs come together, than the issue will be resolved amicably.

Commenting on the appointment of Akshay Kumar Mishra as the new interlocutor, Zeliang said that it is a good sign since Mishra has been in talks with the NSCN-IM since the past one year. The NPF leader said that it is positive to have one interlocutor to resolve the Naga issue at the earliest.

Lauding the efforts of the Centre, TR Zeliang said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is very sincere in approach. However, Zeliang said that it is important to hammer out the differences, particularly those related to Flag and Constitution, which can only happen if both the sides are sincere.

Meanwhile, TR Zeliang informed that there will be a joint meeting of the NDPP, BJP and NPF on September 18. Only after that, the further proceedings to change the nomenclature of the PDA government to United Naga Government would be made, Zeliang added.