Bhattarai justifies concerns in India over Nepal`s deadlock
Last Updated: Sunday, May 22, 2011, 20:21
Kathmandu: Maoist Vice Chairman Baburam Bhattarai Sunday justified concerns expressed in neighbouing India over Nepal's stalled peace process, as he underlined the need for consensus among the main parties to end the political crisis that has delayed the promulgation of new constitution.

The uncertainty in the 2006 peace process has sparked concern in Nepal as well as India, which has a special security relations with Kathmandu as the two countries share a large open border.

The Indian leadership has repeatedly underlined the need for the Nepalese political parties to agree on a consensus to push forward the stalled peace process, which has delayed the promulgation of new constitution by parliament whose term is set to expire on May 28.

The concern shown by India, which surrounds Nepal from three sides, over the current situation in the country, is natural, Bhattarai told reporters in the capital.

The top Maoist leader said the political parties should move forward maintaining cordial relations with all international forces including India.

Political parties in the country are deadlocked over some of the key issues of the peace process, including the fate of the former Maoist combatants, amid demands by the former rebels for their en masse integration with the security forces.

Most of the mainstream political parties have asked the Maoists to rehabilitate their former PLA combatants, return the seized property and dismantle their paramilitary youth wing, Young Communist League, so that a consensus can be built on drafting a constitution and concluding the peace process.

Bhattarai said it was essential to forge an understanding between UCPN-Maoist, the largest party in Parliament, and the main opposition Nepali Congress to end the political deadlock over the framing of a new constitution.

An understanding between Nepali Congress and the Maoist was crucial for resolving the current political impasse in the country, he said.

The coalition government led by Prime Minister Jhala Nath Khanal has registered a bill in parliament proposing a one-year extension for the 601-member Assembly.

Bhattarai said that the Maoist and the Nepali Congress must endeavour for consensus and other parties must bolster political unity for the sake of peace. He said the major parties must strike a package deal before extending the term of the Assembly and move forward by forming a national consensus government.

Bhattarai staked the claim of the Maoist to lead a national government since it was the single largest party in Parliament.

In response to a question, he said the former Maoist guerrillas of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) must come under state’s purview as outlined by the 2006 Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and the interim constitution. On differences within the Maoist party, he said the chapter is closed.


First Published: Sunday, May 22, 2011, 20:21

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