Nepalese parties to integrate ex-rebels into Army
Last Updated: Friday, March 30, 2012, 23:43
  
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 Sadbhawana Party-Federal.

Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala said that the decisions with regard to the new statute should be implemented on time.

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.

PTI


First Published: Friday, March 30, 2012, 23:43


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