King, parties need to join hands to end insurgency: Experts

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, February 19:

Security experts today said the King and the political parties should reach a political consensus and make honest efforts to resolve the Maoist problem.

“The problem cannot be resolved unless the King and the democratic forces come together and evolve a common position on issues raised by the insurgents,” former minister Narayan Singh Pun told journalists at an interaction programme at the Reporters’ Club.

Although he was not hopeful of any talks between the government and the Maoists in the near future, Pun urged the government to make sincere efforts to bring them to the table of talks.

He also pointed to the need for strong backing of all democratic forces and people if the government chose to find a military solution.

He said the State would never surrender to the Maoists if the latter refused to negotiate, but the State should be prepared for a protracted war with a careful strategy.

“Since the Maoist conflict has raised multi-dimensional issues, solution to it should also be multi-dimensional, and democratic,” he said, adding nobody should blame one another for what went wrong in the past.

Security expert Dr Indrajit Rai stressed the need for a mutual ceasefire between the State and the insurgents. He also suggested that the State should develop a think tank capable of grasping the problem and proposing a way out to it.

He lamented the government for not appointing any security advisor despite the fact that the country has been facing insurgency for a decade.

Former Inspector General of Police, Hem Bahadur Singh, did not agree with Rai’s assertion about the need of a security advisor to the government and said the government’s security and intelligence wings are the best institutions to advise the State on security matters.

“The Maoists’ line of supply should be blocked, the open border should be sealed and honest efforts should be made to press the Maoists for dialogue,” Rai said.

Rai also dismissed speculations that India, Britain and the US would suspend military aid to Nepal simply because of the King’s February 1 takeover. “They cannot do so as the insurgents would prevail if they suspend military aid to Nepal,” he said, adding that Indian Foreign Minister K Natwar Singh has already committed to maintain military relations with Nepal.

Rt Maj Dr Karna Thapa accused the western club — the EU, Britain and the USA — of exerting undue pressure on the King so that they could install “incapable” people in the government to serve their vested interests. “They want to fulfil their interests by imposing economic and military blockade,” Thapa said, adding “We simply do not care if they choose to close their missions in Nepal. We, 23 million people, will raise fund to support our security forces to fight the Maoists.”

He also rapped human rights activists and the media for “failing to distinguish differences between the insurgents and the State”. He said the western world has been playing a game of creating multiple fronts in small states in South Asia so that they could serve their vested interests.

He, however, pointed out the need for an immediate ceasefire and resumption of talks, which should be in favour of the people and the nation.