The Central government was determined and duty bound to ensure equal rights and opportunities for every Naga, he said at the golden jubilee celebration of Nagaland statehood here.

The Centre, with the help of interlocutors, is trying to find solution to Nagaland's vexed insurgency problem.

National Socialist Council of Nagaland (Isak-Muivah) or NSCN (IM) led by chairman Isak Chishi Swu and general secretary Thuingaleng Muivah had entered into truce with the Government of India in 1997 to solve insurgency issue affecting the state.

Over 80 rounds of talks were held since then between the Centre and the NSCN led by Swu and Muivah without concrete outcome in the last 16 years of truce.

"It is impossible to achieve development in the absence of peace and security. I urge all concerned to work towards establishing and maintaining a peaceful environment in the state so that the dreams of the youth can be realized in the shortest possible time," he said.

The President said his frequent visits to north eastern states reflect their strategic importance.

"In the 16 months since I assumed office, I have visited Assam thrice, Nagaland twice, Sikkim twice and Manipur, Meghalaya, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh. Only Mizoram remains and I look forward to an early occasion to visit the state soon," the President said.

The President said North East of India, which shares borders with five nations--China, Myanmar, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Nepal--act as a natural bridge between the country and South East Asia.


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