PM’s stance on Maoists’ arms disrupted talks: Gautam

Kathmandu, October 20:

CPN-UML standing committee member Bamdev Gautam said today that Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s stance on arms management is the major hurdle to a consensus on political issues. Koirala is learnt to have asked the Maoists to disarm before an election to a constituent assembly.

“If PM Koirala takes a bold decision keeping in mind the spirit of the Jana Andolan II, all the political issues, including the future of the monarchy, can be settled easily,” Gautam said at a programme at the Reporters’ Club. He also accused the PM of bringing the country to a crossroads.

He also said the Maoists were ready to lay down their weapons if the NC took a concrete decision to bring an end to the monarchy with a certain proposal. “On October 12, the seven-party alliance and the Maoists had almost reached a consensus on political issues and issue of arms management after NC assured of coming up with its official stance on the future of monarchy,” he said.

But the parties in the conflict could not reach a consensus on October 15 after the PM, instead of coming up with a proposal on the monarchy, demanded that the Maoists disarm, he said, adding that the PM remained indecisive because of the “pressure from internal and external forces”.

Asked who put pressure on the PM, Gautam said that the forces, who vehemently opposed the 12 and the eight-point agreements with the Maoists, were behind putting pressure on Koirala against taking any decision on the monarchy.

He said the forces which want to give continuity to the monarchy had raised the issue of arms management unnecessarily. He said that the state army was still loyal to the palace though its name had been changed.

Vice-president of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi) Bharat Bimal Yadav said leaders of the eight parties had discussed the issue of arms management, future of the monarchy, issue of citizenship, and electoral process of the constituent assembly and restructuring of the state.

Envoy’s hope

KATHMANDU: British ambassador to Nepal Dr Andrew Rotely Hall has expressed confidence that “peace talks between the Seven Party Alliance (SPA) and the Maoists would be successful”. Stating that no country can have two different armies and two governments, he called on the Maoists to lay down arms. Speaking at a press conference held to give information about assistance provided by the UK, the envoy said the talks would bring the issue of arms management to a conclusion. — RSS