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Terrorism cannot be solved militarily: Lal Thanhawla

 AIZAWL, June 30 (IANS): Political problems or militancy cannot be solved militarily through the barrel of the gun and lasting solutions can only be reached through talks, Mizoram Chief Minister Lal Thanhawla said Thursday as the state celebrated the silver jubilee of the Mizo Accord.

The state government has declared a holiday Thursday on the occasion.

"The government must talk with any group or militant outfit for lasting solutions of genuine issues. Conducive atmosphere has also to be created (for talks), and ensure the cooperation of people of all walks of life. Whoever comes forward for negotiations should be welcomed with open arms," Lal Thanhawla said at a seminar.

"There has to be a give-and-take policy and both government and the separatist outfits have to be ready for some measure of sacrifice," he said.

The seminar, organised by the Mizoram Kohhran Hruaitute Committee, a body of major church leaders, was also addressed by former chief minister and Mizo National Front (MNF) president Zoramthanga.

After more than 20 years of terrorism, the tri-partite Mizoram peace accord was signed on June 30, 1986 by the central government, the state government and the MNF led by its supremo Laldenga, who subsequently become chief minister (August 1986 to September 1988).

Under the accord, Lal Thanhawla, the then chief minister, stepped down from the post.

In a separate message on the occasion, the chief minister said that his government accords top priority to maintain peace so that the people of the northeastern state can march forward to catch up with the rest of the country.

Stating that his government remains committed towards promoting the welfare of the poor, Lal Thanhawla said the flagship new land use policy is being implemented for the poor people's uplift.

Speaking at another seminar, Governor Lt. Gen (retd.) M.M. Lakhera said: "The peace accord lasted due to the involvement of various sections of the society, the people's interest in peace and unity among the people as well as due to the sincerity of the Mizos and of the Indian government."

"It is significant to consider why the Mizo peace accord succeeded and what peace had given us. There are huge developments in the field of education and Mizoram is now the second most literate state in India with literacy rate of more than 91.58 percent," he said.

"Infrastructure development is also another important steps and Mizoram is now the most developed among the eight sister states of the northeast India," Lakhera said, adding that rather than countering insurgency by armed force, the government has to find the causes and take remedial measures.

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