Minister for new deal with parties

RUPANDEHI: Minister for Information and Communications Shankar Pokharel today emphasised the need to forge a new agreement among political parties to solve the current political debacle.

Inaugurating the western regional conference of the Federation of Nepali Journalists in Butwal, Minister Pokhrel said, "As the 22 political parties representing the government are not agreeing with the Maoists' demands and the UCPN-M is adamant towards it, we need to forge a new agreement to move ahead."

"It is not possible to agree with the Maoist agenda. The Maoist themselves started the issue by sacking the then CoAS," Pokhrel said, adding that the Maoists needed to amend their ways.

"The present situation occurred as the UCPN-M unilaterally made the decision with disregard to the norms and values of the peace process," Pokhrel said. He also demanded the Maoists to withdraw their agitation at the earliest as it was hindering the process of drafting the new constitution and the current peace process.

He informed that the government would implement its special security project from mid August, stating that it was for the welfare and protection of Madhesi community and to maintain law and order in the country.

He said a provision had been made to provide Press Pass issued by the Department of Information via District Postal Office to journalists outside the capital. Saying that the government is committed to implement the Working Journalists' Act, he said there would be no discrimination while distributing advertisements to media houses.

He also said the government was serious about ensuring security to the media.

FNJ chairman Dharmendra Jha said the achievement of Jana Andolan II would not be institutionalised without the alertness of the journalists. He said the government should be serious to guarantee press freedom while drafting the new constitution.Over 150 journalists of 14 districts of the western region are attending the two-day conference.