Govt talks team submits report sans talks with Chand-led group

Kathmandu December 27

The High Level Political Talks team formed under lawmaker Som Prasad Pandey today submitted its report to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli without holding dialogue with the Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN).

The team has recommended that the government continue its attempt to hold dialogue with Chand’s party as it is a political outfit.

The talks team Coordinator Som Prasad Pandey said at a press conference in Singha Durbar today that the team tried to hold direct talks with Chand but he did not respond to the offer.

The Pandey-led team, however, held talks with some Central Committee members of Chand-led party. Pandey said the CC members were in favour of talks with the government, but higher level leaders were not willing to hold dialogue with the government. “It is an extremist political outfit and the government needs to take action against illegal activities of the group,” Pandey said.  He said his team did not hold talks with the CK Raut-led Alliance for Independent Madhes as it had a separatist agenda.

“Raut is a member of Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), and therefore, we cannot hold talks with him. We have told the government to deal with Raut as per the prevailing laws,” Pandey said.

The UNPO is an organisation of unrecognised states. “Raut’s group is not a political group, but a separatist group and therefore we did not hold talk with this group,” Pandey said.

The team told the government to take precautions to preserve national unity.

The talks team collected data of 607 cases slapped against members of armed and rebel outfits. The team said that it was of the view that the government could withdraw 279 cases. It also clarified that the government could not withdraw 328 cases as per the prevailing laws.

The armed and rebel groups that held talks with the Pandey-led team said that  90 cadres of their groups were killed and  42 were injured in action taken by the security forces in the past.

The Pandey-led team held talks with 23 outfits during its tenure and collected some arms and ammunitions. “Three groups have surrendered their arms and have agreed to join peaceful politics,” Pandey said.