Aizwal: Mizoram Chief Minister Zoramthanga has urged the Centre to resume its peace mission in coup-hit Myanmar following requests from some quarters that India should broker peace in the wake of the political crisis in the neighbouring country, an official said on Sunday.
Four Indian states, Mizoram, Meghalaya, Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh, share over a 1,600-km long international border with Myanmar.
“We receive requests from some quarters in Myanmar that India should broker peace in the coup-hit country. This is a golden chance for our country to resume the peace mission we have begun in the past in order to restore peace in the neighbouring country,” Zoramthanga told reporters in Aizawl soon after his arrival from Delhi on Saturday.
He said that the Centre should negotiate with the military government and various ethnic underground groups in Myanmar to restore peace, which in turn will help in restoring democracy in the neighbouring country.
The chief minister said that he was sent to Myanmar on a peace mission along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval five years ago.
However, the peace process with the Myanmar military government and ethnic groups was aborted when the Aung San Suu Kyi-led National League for Democracy came to power in 2015, he said.
Zoramthanga visited the national capital on September 3 and September 24 and met various leaders at the Centre including President Droupadi Murmu, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and Home Minister Amit Shah over the Myanmar political crisis and influx of refugees from the neighbouring country.
“During our visit to Delhi, our main subject was the Myanmar political issue. All the central leaders whom I have met, including the President, were concerned about the Myanmar political crisis,” the chief minister said.
He said, ” I told the central leaders that India should take a fatherly step and resume the trade we have already started in the past in order to restore peace in Myanmar.” The former rebel leader-turned-politician said that the ethnic underground groups operating in Myanmar are in favour of federation within the Union of Myanmar and independence is not their main goal.
He said that when he was on a peace mission in Myanmar, the former military government headed by Min Aung Hlaing (now also military chief) was willing to grant federations to the ethnic groups.
The subsequent Aung San Suu Kyi government also did not object to granting federations to the ethnic groups, he said.
“It seems that peace could not be established in Myanmar due to communication gaps between stakeholders. If India plays its role at the right time, restoring peace in the neighbouring state is possible,” he said.
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