Kathmandu: The ruling Maoists are ready to accept a Nepali Congress-led national government if a package deal is struck among the major parties to end the current political stalemate, Nepal`s deputy Prime Minister said on Saturday.
"We have no objection to accept the leadership of Nepali Congress candidate to form a national unity government, if a package deal is reached among parties before that," UCPN- Maoist Vice-chairman and Deputy Prime Minister Narayan Kaji Shrestha told reporters at the party office in Kathmandu.
"We had requested the opposition parties to turn the current government led by Baburam Bhattarai into a national government, but they have rejected our idea," he said.
"Only a national consensus government can conduct the Constituent Assembly elections to frame the new constitution," Shrestha said in response to a question.
"We are trying to form a consensus government but political parties have failed to forge consensus to form a national unity government," he said.
On a question relating to the Maoist party`s commitment to human rights and press freedom in the wake of a controversial move by Prime Minister Bhattarai to obstruct the process of investigation of the murder of journalist Dekendra Thapa by Maoist cadres, he said that they want to take up all the issues of past human rights violations together, not to deal with each and every issue on individual basis.
"We are very much concerned for establishing rule of law and protecting human rights," Shrestha said.
The Maoist-led government has come under attack by media along with national and international human rights groups after Prime Minister Bhattarai issued instruction to halt the process of investigation into the murder of journalist Thapa in Dailekh district about nine years ago.
On the issue of Nepal government`s request to the UK to release Nepal Army colonel Kumar Lama, arrested in Britain on charges of human rights abuses, Shretha said that he is hopeful of getting a positive outcome to the request.
Nepal is seeking the release of the colonel saying that the cases for which the colonel was arrested deal with the domestic affairs of Nepal.