Nepali Cong seeks global pressure on Maoists for peace
Nepal’s fragile peace process has come to a standstill after progress towards end of 2011. Now Nepali Congress, the country’s oldest party, wants international intervention to put it back on track.world Updated: Jan 23, 2012 00:27 IST
Nepal's fragile peace process has come to a standstill after progress towards end of 2011. Now Nepali Congress, the country's oldest party, wants international intervention to put it back on track.
In an interview with HT, Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala talked about the need for outside pressure on ruling Maoists to conclude peace and also draft the new constitution.
"We are doing our bit to convince Maoists, but international pressure is needed to make them see reason and agree on implementation of past agreements regarding peace," he said.
He didn't elaborate on what he meant by global pressure.
Despite categorization 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 Maoists have listed a fresh set of demands like senior ranks in Nepal Army for combatants, something not agreeable to other parties.
Nepali Congress alleges that the ruling party is holding the peace process to ransom in order to blackmail other parties into agreeing on a presidential form of government in the new statute.
While Maoists, the largest party in parliament, wants a directly elected President, Nepali Congress, the second largest, is in favour of an indirectly elected one and a Prime Minister who has more powers.
"We want a government where the PM is responsible to the parliament. So far as fundamentals of democracy are concerned, we are not going to compromise at any cost," Koirala said.
Burying internal differences, in recent days the three factions within Maoists have come together and have even threatened to start a fresh 'peoples' war' if there is conspiracy against peace and constitution.
"They are using threats and intimidation for things which are against past agreements, but I don't think they will resort to violence again. And if they are so interested in another 'war', who is stopping them?" he asked.
Koirala stated that his party is willing to engage in more talks with Maoists to conclude the peace process, but ruled out any possibility of joining the government before that.
Nepali Congress, Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) and other opposition parties have united against the recent government move to legalize land transactions done by the Maoist's 'peoples' government' during the 1996-2006 civil war.
Nepal's peace process have to be completed within May 28 this year.