Former premier and NC leader G P Koirala on Sunday opposed any merger of 'politicised' Maoist combatants into the Army, signalling that consensus still eluded the 22-party CPN-UML-led coalition over the vexed issue that has repeatedly stalled the fragile peace process.
Koirala said the Maoist combatants should not be merged into Nepal Army, instead People's Liberation Army (PLA)
should be rehabilitated into society. He said the national army should not be 'politicised'.
His remarks comes a day after a senior leader of CPN-UML KP Sharma Oli claimed that the actual number of the
PLA is no more than 1,000, though Maoists are claiming that they have 19,000 soldiers in the cantonments.
The government initiated the process of discharging minors and other disqualified Maoist soldiers from cantonments across Nepal as per their earlier agreements.
Koirala's remarks came at a time when there was a debate among political parties going on whether to integrate
the PLA cadres into the society or be merged into the Army.
As the Maoist combatants were involved in various kinds of violent activities in the past, environment should
be created in such a way that the combatants can return back to the society, he pointed out.
Koirala said the present government will serve its full tenure irrespective of whether Maoists join or remain outside the government. "I don't know whether the Maoists will join the government or not, but I am quite sure that this
government will last until next election."
He said he was confident that the new constitution will be drafted on time. Koirala said the distrust between the Maoists and other parties which is widening be narrowed down.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has underlined the need to forging cooperation and collaboration
in order to move the peace process ahead.
Nepal who met Maoist chief Prachanda asked him to lend cooperation to the new government. He said Prachanda was
In the mean time CPN-UML leader and Minister for General Administration Ravindra Shrestha said, the Maoists
are hindering on the way to forming a national government.
The Nepali Congress and CPN-UML both are in favour of forming a national government to move ahead the peace process.