The Chin National Front (CNF) insists Paletwa is part of Chin State and the Arakan Army's claim on it is 'untenable'.
Senior CNF leader Thomas Thangno, in Aizawl for medical treatment, told Mizzima that Paletwa was always part of the Chin Special Division and later a part of Chin state.
"Rakhines are only fifteen percent of Paletwa's population, the rest are Chins and smaller tribes of the Mizo-Kuki-Chin family like Khumis. The Arakan Army is pushing Khumis to accept Rakhine identity which is unfair," the leader said, insisting he is recuperating from a severe migraine.
"The Arakan Army is claiming Paletwa for tactical reasons because control over that area is crucial for them to access remote areas of Mizoram and the Sangu valley in Chittagong Hill Tracts where they take shelter during Burmese army offensive," the CNF leader said.
What would the Chin groups do if Myanmar decides to include Paletwa in Rakhine state during possible future political negotiations with Arakan Army rebels?
" I am sure Myanmar government will not do it but Arakan Army's violent activities are endangering Chins," Thomas said.
He said his group did not have the strength to take on the 6000 strong Arakan Army but wished they refrained from making 'unrealistic claims on Chin areas' in the interest of 'revolutionary unity'.