Talks possible if Maoists disarm, says minister GC

Himalayan News Service

Pokhara, February 25:

Stating that there was an invitation for peace talks in the February 1 royal proclamation, Local Development minister Khadka Bahadur GC said the government would hold talks with the Maoists if they gave up arms.

Speaking at a press meet ogranised by the Mechi-Mahakali Media Society-Kaski here today, he said,”The King had called the Maoists for talks on the day of the royal proclamation. The government is awaiting their response.” Stressing that the prime agenda of the government was peace talks, he said the government was working for it. “The Maoists have strayed out of the path. The government would hold talks if they disarmed themselves.” Saying the Maoists were torturing the people, he assured the people of peace and security.

“Security forces’ attacks have enfeebled the Maoists,” he said, adding that the Maoist extremism had forced the locals to rise against them. “Support from every sector will boost the morale of the security forces.” When asked how the local bodies would be operated, he said the government was mulling over forming a committee comprising people’s representatives. “The development work would gain momentum if all lent help in the spirit of the royal proclamation.”When asked about the reason for banning FM news transmission, the minister advised the journalists to hold discussions with the minister of communication and to follow the guidelines of the Ministry of Communication.