Maoists for integration of 50% ex-combatants into Army

Nepal`s main opposition Maoist party proposed the integration of 50 per cent of its former combatants in the country`s army in a bid push forward the stalled peace process.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s main opposition Maoist
party on Thursday proposed the integration of 50 per cent of its
former combatants in the country`s army in a bid push forward
the stalled peace process.

Janardan Sharma `Prabhakar`, the former Deputy
Commander of Maoist guerrilla force PLA and member of the
Special Committee for integration, said his party has floated
"the proposal of integration of fifty per cent of its 19,500
combatants and another fifty per cent for rehabilitation.

We have proposed that half of the combatants should be
integrated and the other half rehabilitated," Sharma
underlined.

Prabhakar said that his party has submitted the
proposal to the Special Committee tasked to oversee the
integration of the former Maoists combatants.

He said the number of former Maoist combatants to be
integrated can be fixed in an agreement with parties so as to
end the dispute that has stalled the peace process.

However, he warned that his party would not allow the
peace process to move forward until a package deal on
contentious political issues, including power sharing and
constitution drafting is reached.

Speaking at an interaction programme in the capital,
he demanded that the "Maoists should be allowed to appoint its
co-coordinator from the party. He said the control of the
former Maoist combatants will come under the Special Committee
only after reaching a political understanding with the other
political parties.

Ram Sharan Mahat, the leader the second largest Nepali
Congress party, said: "The peace process and the process of
drafting the constitution will be complete only if the Maoists
show honesty to the peace accords".

Mahat, one of the members of the Special Committee,
said the works relating to monitoring of the Maoist combatants
will come under the jurisdiction of the Secretariat of the
Special Committee after tenure of the United Nations Mission
in Nepal (UNMIN) expires in mid-January next year.

He rejected the Maoists proposal to integrate 50 per
cent of the former combatants into the army in bulk, saying
only those Maoists combatants who fulfill the criteria of set
by the Nepal Army will be considered for integration.

The standoff over the integration of the former
guerrillas, housed in the UN-monitored cantonment, has delyed
the peace process.

Nepal`s Parliament has failed to elect a new prime
minister despite series of run-off polls since the June 30
resignation of prime minister Madhav Kumar Nepal under
intense pressure from the Maoists.

A coalition led by Maoists, who joined mainstream
politics after the 2006 peace deal with the interim government
of G P Koirala, collapsed in 2008 after a dispute with
President Ram Baran Yadav over their attempt to replace the
then army chief Rukmangad Katwal.

PTI

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