However, there is no denying that the talks between the top Indian leadership and Isak Chisi Swu and Thuingaleng Muivah, chairman and general secretary respectively of the militant National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN-IM), is a positive step. It was after years of persuasion that the two NSCN leaders ended their 35-year exile and agreed to talks on Indian soil. And the initial signals from the Naga delegation have been positive. "We praise the wisdom of the government of India. There is a lot better understanding on its part," Muivah said. "The prime minister and the Indian leadership are very sincere," Swu added.
But talking peace and thrashing out an agreement acceptable to the other Northeast states is easier said than done. Much depends on how far the NSCN demand for a greater Nagaland, which includes parts of Assam, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh, is accommodated by the Centre. Swu's statement in Delhi that "there is just one Nagaland. No big or small Nagaland", has sent out negative signals. Manipur chief minister O. Ibobi Singh made it clear even before the talks began that the concept of a greater Nagaland was unacceptable: "I will accept any kind of solution till it does not affect Manipur. The NSCN(IM) has been demanding inclusion of parts of Manipur in their proposed Greater Nagalim. They have also circulated maps showing portions of our state as well as parts of Assam and Arunachal Pradesh inside it. If the Government of India agrees to this demand, then I'll be the first person to oppose it tooth and nail. How can a problem of Nagaland be settled at the cost of another state?"