Real PLA strength 1,000: Oli

BIRATNAGAR: Senior UML leader KP Sharma Oli has said the current government was serious about integration of true Maoist fighters and that the Maoists did not have more than 1,000 real fighters.

Speaking at an interaction organized by Press Chautari here this morning, Oli said the Maoists had only 1,000 fighters but the Maoists hired children and others who are now enjoying salary and allowance from the government. He said even the UCPN-Maoist has ignored its real fighters and they were deprived of government allowance as they are out of cantonments.

Oli also said the border dispute between Nepal and India should be resolved through diplomatic manner by gathering all truth and facts. He said the Maoists were trying to establish the supremacy of guns and capture the state in the name of civilian supremacy. He also rebuffed the Maoist charges that the current government is a puppet government and asked how a government elected by the people''s representative can be a puppet government.