KATHMANDU: The Unified CPN-Maoist today withdrew its indefinite general strike scheduled to start from January 24 for the time being. Maoist chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ issued a statement calling off the strike immediately after today’s meeting of the High-Level Political Mechanism.
Earlier, the party had agreed for the same at the HLPM meeting, held at the residence of Nepali Congress President Girija Prasad Koirala in Maharajgunj.
“Since the HLPM today initiated discussion on our concerns and decided to give top priority to resolving the political deadlock, we decided to call off the strike for the time being, hoping for a positive outcome from the mechanism,” said Prachanda in his statement. The HLPM approved the Terms of Reference prepared by a six-member task force of the three major political parties. The HLPM decided to hold its meeting at least once a week.
The meeting decided to induct Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal as invitee member. Sources said the UCPN-M had proposed only to invite him when in need but later accepted him as invitee member after NC and UML leaders pressed for the same.
The meeting also decided to induct leaders of other parties in the HLPM by forging consensus at its next meeting.
In the two-page document signed by coordinator Girija Prasad Koirala and members ‘Prachanda’ and Khanal, the top leaders have realised the need of ‘consensus and cooperation’ to settle all contentious national issues.
Maoist leader Narayan Kaji Shrestha ‘Prakash’, UML chairman Jhalanath Khanal said and NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC said after the meeting: “Today’s decision of the HLPM is very vital and will have a long-term effect.”
HLPM aims to help take the peace process to a logical end, write constitution on time, end the current political deadlock, remove the state of mistrust among parties by reviewing the status of implementation of all past agreements and end other political woes.
The work procedures include forging consensus on contentious issues, forming different sub committees, making an attempt to form commissions related to the peace process as mentioned in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement and taking decisions only through consensus. Reviewing the status of Maoist implementation of the promise to return the seized properties and making public the status of the whereabouts of the disappeared people are also included in the procedures.
The code of ethics section states: leaders should stress on mutual consensus, should not make provocative statements and should behave decently with each other; violence against activists of other parties should be curbed and differences should be sorted out through talks.
Meanwhile, Prachanda stated that other protest programmes to establish national independence and civil supremacy will continue. He cautioned that that if any conspiracy was hatched and consensus was not forged, the UCPN-M would be compelled to revive the suspended programmes with intensified vigour.