Sherchan for tackling political, arms issues simultaneously

Kathmandu, September 19:

The government and Maoists should resolve the issues pertaining to political settlement and arms management at the same time, Deputy Prime Minister Amik Sherchan said today.

One cannot go without the other, according to him.

A consolidated package that will address the issues of political settlement and arms management could be a solution, he said, while emphasising that the peace process should reach a logical conclusion in a day or two.

Deputy Prime Minister Sherchan termed those trying to disrupt peace negotiations as ‘regressive’ elements.

Those who try to send the Maoists back to the jungle have a regressive mindset, Sherchan said at a programme organised by the Civil Society for Peace and Development here today.

Maoist leader Dina Nath Sharma, also a member of the Maoist talks team, demanded that the peace process reach a logical end prior to Dashain.

The government, according to him, does not want lasting peace as it was not keen on ending the conflict.

Conspiracies are being hatched and Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala cannot rise above the issue of ceremonial monarchy, he said.

“Laying down of arms is not a problem but if we give up arms now, a situation will arise when the political parties including us will again have to raise them,” he said.

Jana Morcha Nepal leader, Lila Mani Pokharel, critisised American ambassador James F Moriarty for openly giving speeches like a politician and visiting army barracks in the country.

“Should Moriarty give directions to us? Can a Nepali diplomat in USA inspect army barracks there?” he questioned.

He further expressed concerns over the possibility of political parties being influenced by the international community.

Nepal is at a strategic location in terms of global politics and it makes it natural for foreign powers, particularly USA, to be interested in the politics of a small country like Nepal, he said.