Bhattarai reaches out to Nepal Maoist leader

The hardline leader has demanded that the ruling Maoist party scrap the treaty which he claimed is not in national interest.

Updated: Oct 29, 2011, 20:26 PM IST

Kathmandu: In a bid to iron out differences,
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai on Saturday met a top Nepal Maoist
leader who has slammed him for inking a crucial trade pact
with India during his landmark visit to New Delhi recently.

Bhattarai also discussed ways to push forward the stalled
peace process and the integration of the former Maoists
combatants with senior vice chairman Mohan Vaidya "Kiran",
the hardline leader who has accused the party leadership of
making compromise by handing over of the keys of containers
holding the arms of the guerrillas to the Army Integration
Special Committee, a panel set up to oversee the peace
process.

Vaidya has also attacked Bhattarai for signing the
Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement
(BIPPA) with New Delhi during his four-day India visit last
week.

The hardline leader has demanded that the ruling Maoist
party scrap the treaty which he claimed is not in national
interest.

During the meeting at Vaidya`s residence in Kathmandu,
Bhattarai tried to convince him on starting the integration
process of the former PLA guerrillas at the earliest. He also
explained his position on BIPPA, nepalnews, the online Nepali
newspaper, quoted a source as saying today.

Bhattarai sought Vaidya`s cooperation and pledged to
bring the issues to the party for deliberation, the report
said.

The Prime Minister has defended the BIPPA as it would
boost trade by guarantying security of foreign investment and
help Nepal overcome its trade deficit with India.

One of the key sticking points in the stalled 2006 peace
process has been the proposed integration of 19,000 former
Maoist rebels into the army, with the main opposition Nepali
Congress resisting their en masse integration.

PTI