Pascoe urges building trust among parties

KATHMANDU: UN Under Secretary-General of Political Affairs, B Lyan Pascoe today underlined the need of rebuilding the trust among the major political parties to lead the peace process to logical end and write the constitution on time.

Pascoe, who arrived here today on his three-day visit, expressed the view during the meetings with Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala and UCPN-Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal.

With all his interlocutors, Pascoe emphasised the importance of rebuilding trust and expediting peace process. He also discussed UNMIN's continuing contribution to the process, UNMIN said in a press statement. Pascoe also told the top political leaders that constitution should be promulgated on the stipulated time at any cost.

Meanwhile, during the meeting with Pascoe, PM Nepal raised the issue of UNMIN's refusal to share the information regarding the number and details of Maoist combatants.

The government has repeatedly been requesting the UNMIN to provide details on the Maoist combatants; however, the latter is refusing to do so.

"Because of the lack of details about the Maoist combatants we are facing many difficulties", Rajan Bhattarai, foreign affairs advisor, quoted PM Nepal as saying in the meeting. According to Bhattarai, Pascoe assured the PM that UNMIN was ready to cooperate with the government on these aspects.

Meantime, in a meeting with Pascoe, Maoist chairman Prachanda assured that his party was committed to peace process and timely promulgation of the constitution.

According to a source, Pascoe had asked Prachanda to reveal the number of Maoist combatants.

Pascoe's visit comes at a time when UNMIN's role in Nepal is heavily criticised and uncertainty is rife.

Speaking briefly with the media persons at Tribhuvan International airport upon his arrival, Pascoe commented that Nepal's political situation and peace process were at critical situation. He further added that he would speak about the overall situation of Nepal after the consultations with political leaders and key government officials.