Kathmandu: Pushing for the setting up of a
national reconciliation panel in Nepal, senior leader of the
main opposition party Sher Bahadur Deuba has said he and
Maoist supremo Prachanda should take moral responsibility for
the crimes during the decade-long civil war in the country.
"Prachanda and I should take moral responsibility for the
conflict era crimes," said Deuba, who was the Prime Minister
when the Maoists started their insurgency in 1996 seeking the
overthrow of the Nepal king.
Human rights organisations, including Amnesty
International Nepal, Human Rights Watch, International
Commission of Jurists and Advocacy Forum, have flayed both the
Maoist guerrillas and the Nepal army for committing rights
violations during the conflict that ended in 2006.
Last year, they urged Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai to
honour the commitments made by both the government and the
Maoist party to hold perpetrators of human rights abuses
during and after the armed conflict accountable before the
law. Political parties have in the past agreed to punish those
responsible for the crimes.
More than 15,000 people were killed and thousands others
were displaced during the civil war.
Deuba endorsed the idea of setting up a truth and
reconciliation commission based on the South African model for
providing justice to the victims of the insurgency.
The best way to ensure lasting peace in the country is to
reconcile and not to go for prosecution, he was quoted as
saying by the Nepalese daily Kathmandu Post.
Deuba suggested that it was not wise to drag one another
into the prosecution process for wrongs committed in the past.
The leaders from both the sides should take moral
responsibility for the crimes, he underlined.
Deuba claimed that top leaders of the Maoist party and
senior leaders of Nepali Congress had on December 15 last year
agreed to grant blanket amnesty to all cases of crimes during
Bhattarai had earlier pledged to take action against
human rights violators and an end to impunity in the country.
The Maoists, who waged a decade-long insurgency,
joined mainstream politics after the 2006 peace deal with the
interim government led by G. P. Koirala, won the largest
number of parliamentary seats in the April 2008 elections.
Replying to questions regarding the formation of a
consensus government in Nepal, Deuba claimed that he still
remains the Nepali Congress party`s official candidate.
He also flayed the party chief Sushil Koirala for
dissolving party organisations "unilaterally". "You cannot
dissolve any organization unilaterally," he said.