Army merger panel still in limbo

Kathmandu, December 2:

Four major parties, including the Nepali Congress, today failed to finalise the Special Committee for Army Integration, as the CPN-Maoist did not agree with NC’s demand to include two members in the committee.

Leaders of three coalition partners -- CPN-Maoist, CPN-UML and Madhesi Janadhikar Forum -- and the NC held a meeting at PM’s official residence in Baluwatar today, to give the integration issue a final shape.

The SCAI was yet to get complete shape, as NC has not given the names for the representation of two members from the party.

“We proposed to the PM to include two representatives from NC but he requested us to attend the committee first and the demand would be considered after a couple of meetings,” said NC Vice President Ram Chandra Paudel.

The four parties have agreed to determine the jurisdiction of the SCAI as per the earlier consensus of the seven political parties, informed Paudel.

He said two coalition partners, CPN-UML and MJF, have agreed to include two representatives from NC.

“The NC is ready to give names for the committee if the government agreed on two representatives,” stated Paudel.

MJF’s Upendra Yadav said, “We want the army integration should not be hindered because of the representation dispute.”

After the meeting, NC leader Ram Chandra Paudel said they urged PM to implement the earlier agreements, including the NC backed nine-point agreements.