Peace talks will succeed, says Gurung

Kathmandu, October 22:

Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala is growing “cool and confident” when drawn attention at the eventual success of the stalled peace process while the nation closed down for Tihar holidays today. Maoist leader Dev Gurung has subscribed to the view as well.

“Of course, there has not been any fruitful discussion among task force members so far. But I am highly optimistic that the peace talks could indeed be successful. There is near certainty on it the way I see things now,” said Maoist talks team member Gurung reacting on the reassurances from Koirala.

Assurances that the talks would be revived soon after Tihar are coming thick and fast. Koirala was reported today to have committed to hold talks as soon as the festival ends. The cabinet on Friday had decided to hold one soon after Tihar but could not fix the schedule.

PM Koirala is supposed to suggest a date as per the understanding reached at the end of last Sunday’s peace talks. A prime ministerial source today said: “Koirala is “cool and confident that the talks will be conclusive once he meets with Prachanda and others during the next round.”

It has been learnt that the optimism to this effect is fuelled by reports of the Maoist leadership becoming “a wee bit pliant” on the issue of arms management, with high level task force comprising Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula and Maoist leader Dr Baburam Bhattarai working on a modality that could herald a “breakthrough” in the talks.

The source said Koirala is confident that the issue of arms would be settled very soon. International pressure, too, is mounting for early resolution. Given the way the Maoist leadership has reacted on the optimism among people close to the PM, it appears that the upcoming peace talks would succeed.