Armed outfits get govt invite, finally

Kathmandu, October 5:

Minister for Peace and Reconstruction Janardan Sharma today invited various groups, who have been raising arms for political causes, for talks.

Sharma, also the coordinator of the three-member government talks team formed on Friday, said, “The government wants to resolve the political problems through talks. So, I would like to invite all the politically-motivated armed groups for talks.”

Addressing a press conference here today, he said the peace ministry had already resumed initial negotiations through various channels with some armed groups, active in central and eastern Tarai.

Minister Sharma said the armed groups should take the government’s offer as an opportunity to find an amicable solution to the political problem so that people of all classes and regions would have an equal chance to take part in the constitution making process. He, however, did not disclose the names of the armed groups the ministry has established contact.

“It will be known to the media in the course of negotiation,” he said.

Asked if the government would be ready to involve UN as a mediator for talks as has been demanded by some of the armed groups, he said, “It is the government talks team that will hold talks with them.”