Kathmandu: Overcoming a major hurdle,
Nepal`s political parties on Friday agreed to integrate 6,500
former Maoists combatants into the Army, paving the way for
concluding the stalled peace process and drafting a new
statute by the May 27 deadline given by the Supreme Court.
Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai made an announcement to
this effect after a meeting of the Special Committee for
Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of the ex-rebels.
Hailing the apex court`s recent ruling that the term
of the Constituent Assembly would not be extended beyond May
27, Bhattarai said the decision has cemented the prospect for
timely promulgation of the new statute.
"This (the SC decision) has provided a good platform for
the new constitution. Now using this platform will be able to
promulgate the new statute in time," Bhattarai said. "This has
also helped end the uncertainly about the new statute."
The special committee decided to handover ex-PLA
fighters, who have opted for integration, along with their
arms in the cantonments, to the national army by mid April as
part of the ongoing peace process.
"The army integration will be completed within mid-April
and the new constitution will be ready within May 27," Anil
Jha, the Minister for Industry, said.
"There is no other option before the political parties
than to complete the task of drafting the pro-people
constitution within May 27," said Jha, also the president of
Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala said that the
decisions with regard to the new statute should be implemented
UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Prachanda, however, said the new
constitution will be promulgated by resolving all the disputed
issues before the deadline expires.
Maoists waged a decade-long insurgency from 1996, which
ended with the signing of a peace deal in 2006.