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Crisis in Nepal over PLA issue

world Updated: Jan 07, 2008 21:57 IST
Anirban Roy
Anirban Roy
Hindustan Times
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There is no end to crisis in insurgency-ravaged Nepal: a new one is brewing over the issue of merger of the Maoists’ Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) with the Nepal Army, reports Anirban Roy.

There is no end to crisis in insurgency-ravaged Nepal: a new one is brewing over the issue of merger of the Maoists’ Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) with the Nepal Army.

Senior Maoist leader and Minister for Information and Communications Krishna Bahadur Mahara on Monday strongly criticized Nepal’s Army General Rookmangud Katawal for showing reluctance in the merger proposal.

General Katwal, who is also a honorary general of the Indian Army, had said on Sunday that the Nepal Army was not keen to allow the “politically indoctrinated” to join the armed formation as it would affect the purity and sanctity of the national army.

The chief of Nepal Army had also said that the national army should be competent, professional, disciplined, impartial and obedient to the order of the military chain of command.

Lambasting the Army chief, Mahara said the reluctance to the merger process might upset the 19-month-old peace process in Nepal. “His (the General’s) public remark contradict the Comprehensive Peace Agreement,” the Maoist leader, said.

Mahara told newsmen in Kavre that the process of integration of PLA into national army has the endorsement of the leaders of the ruling Seven Party Alliance (SPA). “I don’t know why they (the Army) is opposing it,” he maintained.

Now, it is evident that the Maoists are likely to make the issue of merger of PLA as a pre-condition for the Constituent Assembly election, which is scheduled to be held within April this year.