With less than two weeks remaining for the UN mission in Nepal (UNMIN) to exit, an action plan for rehabilitation and integration of former Maoist combatants has been mooted.
The five phase plan proposes to enforce the government's command-control over the combatants before UNMIN's departure on January 15 and rehabilitate and integrate them within 2013.
Since the end of Nepal's civil war in 2006, nearly 19,000 former Maoist rebels are staying in UNMIN-monitored cantonments. The Nepal Army is also monitored by the same body as part of a deal.
Rehabilitation and integration of these combatants into security forces is the main bone of contention affecting the peace process and drafting of Nepal's new constitution within the May 2011 deadline.
The fresh plan submitted by secretariat of the special committee set up to take over UNMIN's role and complete the rehabilitation and integration process is being seen as a likely breakthrough.
But Maoists have registered a note of dissent to it saying a "political decision" is needed on specifics of the rehabilitation and integration packages before the plan is implemented.
They also want clarification on the agreement on monitoring of arms and provision for monitoring of both Nepal Army and Peoples' Liberation Army (PLA) of Maoists.
"Since there was no agreement on the issues we wanted clarified, we submitted a note of dissent," said Chandra Prakash Khanal, the Moist representative in the special committee.
The new action plan suggests retired or serving army officers to monitor the cantonments and arms with help from PLA personnel once UNMIN departs.
The next phase would involve categorization of combatants into integration, rehabilitation and voluntary retirement groups.
Those opting for retirement would leave the cantonments while those interested in rehabilitation would be provided with vocational training and the rest trained for integration into security forces.