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Nepal talks close to collapse: Maoists

india Updated: Aug 07, 2006 16:02 IST
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Maoists in Nepal on Monday warned that the peace bid with government could hit a roadblock if the seven-party regime in the country insisted on rebels laying down their arms.

"If the government and the parties kept on calling us to lay down weapons without even entering into the preliminary levels of peace talks, it is inevitable that the peace process would get backtracked," Maoists' leader Baburam Bhattarai said addressing a gathering of Nepal's top businessmen.

He, however, said that this does not mean that they would go back to the jungles as in the past.

"We would launch a peaceful agitation in the capital and other urban areas."

Accusing the SPA government of breaching the ceasefire code of conduct, he said: "If the government and the parties breach the peace process and try to preserve the royal army and the King we would detach ourselves from the peace talks and continue our struggle, but peacefully."

Bhattarai's remarks came in the wake of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala's statement saying that King should also be given a space in democracy.

"In my opinion, all including the monarch should be given a role in democracy. Each class, institution including the King and the Maoists should be given a space in democracy, so that they did not get frustrated," Koirala said.

The seven-party alliance leaders have asked the Maoists to abandon weapons and show commitment to peaceful politics.

The Maoists cannot maintain their separate army and also join the Interim government at the same time, Nepali Congress General Secretary Ram Chandra Poudyal said at a function in the capital.

He asked the Maoists leadership to be free from their attachment with weapons and try to win the heart of the people through the means of ideology.

"The people of 21st century will never accept the rule of weapons but the politics of ideology and thought," he said.

He was responding to Maoist chief Prachanda's recent statement saying that October Revolution is inevitable if the peace talks with the government failed.

He also cautioned the people against possible conspiracy by the royal palace against the democratic achievements.

Nepali Congress (Democratic) President Sher Bahadur Deuba said, Maoists' arms must be decommissioned before they join the government.

CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal said, all the issues related to the peace process including arms management, peace talks, monitoring ceasefire should be settled in a package deal not by peace meal system, he pointed out. 

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