No plan to purchase arms: PM

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal today said the government would not import any weaponry in an “unconstitutional manner”. PM Nepal also made it clear that Defence Minister Bidhya Devi Bhandari’s recent visit to India was not aimed at making any arms deal.

PM was addressing a meeting called by the parliamentary State Affairs Committee, where more than 10 lawmakers had asked the PM about the government’s plan to purchase arms as reported in the media. The lawmakers also grilled the PM on law and order situation, diarrhoeal outbreak in the mid-western hills and artificial shortage of essential commodities in the markets.

Lawmakers Pradip Gyawali, Rajendra Khetan, Jagadish Narsingh KC and Kali Bahadur Malla were present during the meeting.

Former PM and chairman of UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal had, earlier, warned that the ongoing peace process would be

considered redundant if

the government decided

to purchase arms for the Nepali Army.

The PM, however, conceded that he had not been able to reconstitute the Special Committee on supervision, rehabilitation and integration of the Maoist combatants.

“High-level political discussions are underway to reconstitute the Special Committee,” he said, adding that he had already taken briefs from the Technical Committee under the Special Committee regarding the progress made so far on the modalities of rehabilitation and integration of the Maoist combatants.

Replying to another query, the PM said efforts were being made to address the agreement reached with the UCPN-Maoist on July 6 to resume the parliamentary businesses. According to the deal, the Maoist concerns were supposed to be addressed within a month.

The parliamentary State Affairs Committee presented the PM a six-point instruction, including bringing the peace process to a logical end and adopting new constitution on time, maintaining law and order.