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Maoist-Nepal opposition to hold fresh talks in Delhi

Nepal's Maoists and opposition parties are in the process of holding fresh talks in New Delhi, the Kingdom's private media reported.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2006 14:06 IST

Nepal's Maoist guerrillas and opposition parties are in the process of holding fresh talks in New Delhi, the kingdom's private media reported on Tuesday.

A senior Maoist leader, Agni Sapkota, has confirmed that leaders of seven opposition parties and the outlawed Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) would hold fresh parleys in New Delhi to review the loose alliance between them, the Himalayan Times daily reported.

Some senior leaders of two major opposition parties, the Nepali Congress and Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist, are already in the Indian capital, the Kathmandu Post daily said.

If true, this would be the sequel to a reported secret meeting held between the two top leaders of the Maoists and leaders of the opposition front of seven parties in New Delhi late last year.

The secret meeting ended with both sides agreeing to a 12-point agreement that includes the Maoists pledging not to attack political workers and unarmed people and allowing people displaced by the 10-year insurgency to return home.

The secret understanding, when it was made public, drew mixed reactions.

It was flayed by Nepal's government headed by King Gyanendra, which came down heavily on the opposition parties as well as the Indian government, saying they were abetting terrorist activities.

While most of the international community as well as the United Nations welcomed the pact as a step towards bringing the rebels to the political mainstream, it was however also criticised by the US ambassador to Nepal, who calls it a ploy by the Maoists to exploit the parliamentary parties and capture power.

A fresh round of talks between the Maoists and opposition leaders on Indian soil would newly vex Nepal that accuses New Delhi of harbouring double standards on terrorism.

Last year, the understanding between the rebels and the parties resulted in the former extending a unilateral truce called by them.

With the outlaws having called a weeklong blockade of Kathmandu valley from March 14, to be followed by an indefinite nationwide shutdown from April 3, the parties have been urging a re-think.

First Published: Mar 07, 2006 14:06 IST