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Of non-implemented deals and deadlines

Political deals in Nepal have one thing common to inquiry commissions in India. Although they start off with tall promises, most end up becoming waste of time and money without any significant achievement.

world Updated: Jun 30, 2011 01:00 IST
Utpal Parashar

Political deals in Nepal have one thing common to inquiry commissions in India. Although they start off with tall promises, most end up becoming waste of time and money without any significant achievement.

The five-point deal signed by Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist Leninist) to extend the Constituent Assembly's tenure by another three months and complete the peace process and draft the constitution in that deadline completed a month this Tuesday.

But the pace of work on both crucial issues is moving at snail's pace and doubts are emerging whether the deal will get implemented within the time limit.

If the parties again fail to complete the tasks, Nepal stares at more confusion, chaos and public anger. The peace process has remained stuck due to differences among Maoist leaders on integration of former combatants and management of arms.

Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal may say otherwise, but constitution drafting has also suffered and there's no sign yet of that much touted consensus-based government.

Most of the blame for the current mess falls on Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal who is busy dousing fires within his party rather than fulfilling commitments made to save the country by focusing on the primary tasks of peace and constitution.

The present scenario is not new to Nepal. Over the past six years the country has witnessed several such deals that have resulted in partial or non implementation. It began it with the 12-point understanding between Maoists and seven parties in 2005 to usher peace.

That was followed by the Comprehensive Peace Accord a year later. Since then there have been so many non-implemented 23-point, 10-point, 9-point, 3-point and 4-point deals that it seemed pointless to keep track. Fates of the deadlines of most of these deals were no better.

There have been progresses on some fronts but with the major tasks of completing the peace process by integrating the Maoist combatants into security forces or rehabilitating them and drafting of the new constitution getting delayed - negatives have outweighed positives.

Unless political bosses pull up socks and complete these two jobs within August 28, the five-point deal like its predecessors would become another delaying tactic to divert attention - something Nepal can ill afford at this critical juncture.