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Nepal's troubled peace process hits roadblock

Nepal's troubled peace process that saw some headway towards last quarter of 2011 has got stuck in New Year.

world Updated: Jan 08, 2012 23:34 IST
Utpal Parashar

Nepal's troubled peace process that saw some headway towards last quarter of 2011 has got stuck in New Year.

Despite categorisation of over 16,000 former Maoists combatants completed last month, they are still in cantonments and their retirement process and integration into Nepal Army not started yet.

The two main opposition parties - Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) - blame ruling Maoists for the stalemate.

They allege Maoists are deliberately holding the process to ransom to exert pressure on others to include presidential form of government in the country's new constitution.

As per earlier deals, Maoist combatants should have started leaving their cantonments to go on voluntary retirement, come under Nepal Army or seek rehabilitation as per choices given by them.

But NC says the Maoist leadership is unwilling to let go of the combatants unless others accept a form of government where President is directly elected and has more executive powers.

"Remarks by some Maoist leaders that combatants won't leave cantonments unless we agree on a directly elected president is a matter of serious concern," said NC leader Bimlendra Nidhi.

He said Maoists are bringing up new issues like awarding appreciation certificates to former rebels seeking retirement or rank-harmonisation for those joining army to exert pressure.