Management of rebel arms must for fair CA polls: Saud

Kathmandu, September 15:

Central working committee member of the Nepali Congress (Democratic) and lawmaker Narayan Prasad Saud said today that the biggest challenge ahead of an election to a constituent assembly is the management of the Maoists’ arms. He said that constituent assembly election would not be held in a free and fair manner unless the Maoists’ arms were managed under the United Nations supervision. Addressing a talk programme on “Arms Management: Process and Challenges” organised by the Bajura-Kathmandu Samparka Samiti of the NC-D, Saud said recent activities of the Maoists have given rise to suspicion that they are not even ready for holding the election to the constituent assembly for which they claimed to have fought for over a decade.

He said Maoists should realise that they cannot capture the central government through the use of arms as they do not have control over major cities, including the capital, and they also do not have international support for their struggle. Saud said the Maoists reached the 12-point understanding with the seven-party alliance after they failed to launch any major attacks in any military installations for two-three years. “In an identical letter written to the United Nations, the Maoists have agreed that their army and arms will be confined to cantonment areas till the election to the constituent assembly. But their latest activities indicate that they will not abide by the UN monitoring,” Saud said, adding that the rebels must give up the violent means and believe in peaceful politics.

Calling on the Maoists to realise they cannot change the society only by waging an armed struggle, he, however, said social issues raised by the Maoists during the decade-old insurgency could be justified, as they had highlighted the hardships of women, Dalits and backward communities. He said the insurgency broke out due to socioeconomic disparities between the urban and rural areas, regional imbalance and heavy budgetary allocation only on the areas represented by influential leaders.