Leaders’ cry in unison for peace process in peril

Bhaktapur, October 24:

Senior political leaders said today that political dishonesty, lack of consensus and commitment

towards past agreements have hampered the peace process.

Inaugurating a international peace workshop on ‘Our stories and our challenges’, which is being organised under the aegis of National School of Research (NSR) and Centre for Justpeace in Asia, NC joint-general secretary Arjun Narshima KC, said Nepal is yet to see the restoration of lasting peace. KC also said there was no alternative to peace. “The Maoists are yet to return seized property. They have partially returned the seized property to only 500 people so far,” he said, adding: “Life, liberty and right to own property are fundamentals of democracy,” he said.

Talking about the integration of the Maoist People’s Liberation Army into the Nepal Army, KC said image of the national army will take a beating if PLA personnel were not integrated on merit basis. “The NC will never accept the authoritarian republic that the Maoists are trying to establish.”

UML leader Pradeep Gwayali said differences between democratic parties were deepening.

“This is not a good sign for the peace process. People are getting frustrated as the government has failed to meet their expectations,” he added.

Ramesh Lekhak, another former minister, urged the parties to create an environment, which is conducive for political consensus. “No country can develop without peace. The government should work in line with agreements to establish lasting peace for the sake of national development.”

“Armed groups would not have emerged in the Tarai if the government had honoured the agreement reached with Tarai-based parties,” said Bishwo Nath Prasad Yadav, a leader of the Maheshi Janadhikar Forum. Yadav stressed the need of economic, political and social transformation.

According to Kapil Gwayali, chairperson of the NSR, 17 participants from 10 countries will discuss aspects of the peace process with Nepali participants.