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Nepal parties clinch peace deal

world Updated: Nov 01, 2011 23:35 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
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In a major development, major parties in Nepal agreed on Tuesday to conclude the five year old peace process by integrating former Maoist combatants into security forces and providing a suitable rehabilitation package to others left out.

Ending several rounds of hectic parleys, leaders of the three major parties-Maoists, Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and the conglomeration of Madeshi parties sealed the deal at Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai's residence.

As per the deal, 6500 of the nearly 18,000 Maoist combatants residing in cantonments since the 2006 peace deal would be integrated into security forces. Those left out would be paid NRs 400,000 to NRs 800,000 spread over the next three years.

The deal was signed by Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda', Nepali Congress president Sushil Koirala, CPM (UML) chairman Jhalanath Khanal and Bijay Gachchadhar who represented the Madhesi conglomeration.

A formal announcement of the deal was made at a press conference held at Prime Minister Bhattarai's residence late on Tuesday evening. Details of the deal were read out by CPM (UML) leader Bhim Rawal.

The hardliner faction of Maoists has however denounced the deal.

"The deal is against our party's principles and policies and we oppose it," said Maoist vice-chairman Mohan Baidya.

The peace process in Nepal that ended the 10-year-old Maoist insurgency in 2006 has remained stuck due to differences among political parties over the number of former Maoist combatants to be integrated and an acceptable rehabilitation package to others.

The differences have also affected drafting of a new constitution. The tenure of the Constituent Assembly entrusted with the task has been extended thrice and is likely to see another extension after its tenure expires on November 30.

But with all major players agreeing on concluding the peace process, it is expected that the process to draft the constitution will also speed up and the first draft could materialize within the deadline.

The other issues in the deal include returning of properties seized by Maoists, dismantling of the military structure of Youth Communist League, the youth wing of Maoists.

Setting up of a truth and reconciliation commission as per tenets of the 2006 peace agreement and another commission to find details of the nearly 1200 persons who went missing during the Maoist insurgency are also included in Tuesday's deal.