Aizawl (zoramobserver.com): The ongoing peace talks between Mizoram government and the Hmar People’s Convention (Democratic) or HPC(D) scheduled to be held during July next is most likely to be elevated to political level talks from the present official level talks, a senior state Home department official said on Monday.
State finance department is said to have approved the financial allocation for rehabilitation and resettlement of HPC (D) cadres once they came over ground, the official said.
The peace talks between Mizoram government and HPC (D) was revived in August last year after it had ended in a deadlock over extension of period of Suspension of Operation (SoO) in 2013. So far, both sides had held talks on four occasions with the first round of talks being held in Aizawl on 10 August last year. This was followed by another two rounds of talks in 2016 (October 5 and December 16). On December 16, HPC(D) surrendered arms and ammunition taken from Mizoram police. The fourth round of peace talks was held on April 28 this year which ended in peaceful note.
Home department officials said that four rounds of talks held since August 10 last year were held under cordial atmosphere and mutual trusts. Both sides were optimistic to reach the final stage of peace talks by finding an amicable solution to the Hmar political imbroglio.
The ongoing peace talks revolved around according autonomy to Sinlung Hills Development Council (SHDC), formed after signing of peace accord between the state government and the erstwhile underground HPC on July 27, 1994.
The name of the council was proposed to be changed from SHDC to Sinlung Hills Council (SHC), which would comprise 12 elected members and 2 nominated members to be headed by Chief Executive Member (CEM).
During the last peace talks held on April 28, both sides also deliberated over power and functions to be accorded to Sinlung Hills Council, its budget and many other important issues.
Home department officials said that one round of official level talks may be required after which it is expected to be elevated to political level talks.
Dissatisfied with the peace accord signed between Mizoram government and the erstwhile underground HPC in 1994 that resulted in the creation of SHDC, HPC(D) went underground again and has been demanding separate autonomous district council in Mizoram by carving out the areas in the north eastern part of the state adjoining Manipur. However, the demand for creation of autonomous district was dropped by the militant by now.