Common approach

The two constitutional forces are looking at different directions, though each has called upon the other to mend fences. The palace wishes the political parties to lend their support to the February 1 step and the Royal agenda of dealing with the Maoists. After the peace is restored, elections will be held and a trasfer of power effected, according to this plan. On the contrary, the parties have not only termed the Royal takeover unconstitutional but also doubted the Royal motives. The first thing they want is the return of power to them. But the parties have yet to agree on how this should be done; for example, some are demanding the restoration of the Lower House, and others the formation of an interim government. However, they have expressed their willingness to start a dialogue with the King. But the palace does not as yet seem very enthusiastic about it.

This impasse is unfortunate for the country. A number of friendly countries have been calling for a rapprochement between the two legitimate forces. It is not certainly a matter of pride for us Nepalis to be told by the foreigners to be united. But at least they appear to have shown some sense. Without this reconciliation, it appears almost impossible to resolve the Maoist problem. Although there is no guarantee that such a coming together will win peace, it is necessary to bring the Maoists into the political mainstream, meaning a people-oriented parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. As experience has amply demonstrated, the pursuit of a military solution does not offer bright prospects. This calls for wise decisions geared entirely to promoting national interests. Sadly, the two constitutional forces seem to be now hindered by considerations not worthy of them.

The international community has also shown particular interest in Nepal’s human rights situation. International human rights groups have reached similar conclusions on Nepal, that both the warring sides have committed gross violations. Therefore, they as well as some of Nepal’s important friends such as Britain, Scandinavian and the EU countries have been pressing the current 61st session of the UN Commission on Human Rights to appoint a rapporteur for Nepal to monitor the human rights situation directly. The three political parties too—the Nepali Congress, the CPN-UML and the NC-D—have also urged the UNCHR to take this step. All this shows the incapability of the domestic forces while the need of the hour is to evolve a commom approach to the Maoist problem within a broader political framework, including a road map to redress pressing socio-economic problems, such as uplifting the poor and the marginalised, and to give the country a fresh Parliament.