Vexing jigsaw puzzle

Any type of conditional approach gets the UCPN (Maoist) leadership jittery all because of its devotion to its mission which is, in fact, plain and clear unlike the agenda of others which can change to answer the specific needs of the times. This is what had been expected as the response to the package offered by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal to get the clock ticking. But, the offer of the Constitutional Committee (CC) chairman with the strings attached was not to the liking of the Maoists. It but meant another inconclusive parley among the three major parties. And another setback for the whole political process all because of the adamant stance taken by the Maoists. And, they all know that they are a stakeholder having the largest representation in the Constituent Assembly (CA). But they forget their responsibility owed to the people who gave them the generous mandate to take the country forward, not retrogression in the name of “forward gear” as is evident. This can be construed from the go-slow pace of the House proceedings affected in reality by them at present citing the necessity for upholding “civilian supremacy”. With the House business gone awry, the task of drafting the statute too has hit a roadblock, and inevitably the peace process.

Prime Minister Nepal made an offer which seems reasonable by all standards in his bid to get the House function smoothly and provide the breathing space for the CC by having a head to pick up pace for the all-important statute drafting that needs to be completed barely within nine months as per the calendar set post-CA polls. The UCPN (M) is to be largely blamed but the other major parties too cannot escape through any excuse for their own share in the buildup to this state of stagnation. It is true that the whole political activity has come in fits and starts all because of the hidden agenda of all the parties concerned. The party interests are overriding while the national ones are left in a lurch. In this, the activities of the Maoists are more glaring than the others. Hypocrisy has been ruling the roost. The Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) and the Interim Constitution are seen to be sidelined in their quest to assert their own importance in the scheme of things. UCPN (M) had seemed all too confident in getting their way when they were leading the government, so they missed the train, and are now harping on the theme of a national government led by them to be at the helm of affairs soon. More than playing with the equation game, they have been not too gentle on the sentiments of the people. In the same vein, there is room for grievances against the major coalition partners.

The CC chief election schedule published, retracted and then left in a limbo laid bare the puppet show the strings of which were controlled by the three parties. Maybe the consensus ploy has aided in delaying all activities that were to gain momentum as per the mandate of the people through the CA election. With it hanging as the Damocles’s sword, the Maoists cannot get their illogical stance lead to anything worthwhile for the people, besides what may be of interest to it.

Scary work

The secretaries of various Village Development Committees (VDC) are afraid to go to their workplace because they perceive a threat to them there. This has been hampering government works and people from the villages are compelled to go to the district headquarters to have their work done. This goes to show how appalling the security situation is in the country where even the security of government officials is not guaranteed. The first and foremost task of any government is to provide security and the fear of the VDC secretaries goes to show that the government has failed to instil a sense of security. The VDC secretaries cannot always be blamed for not going to their workplace for their apprehensions may be genuine.

We can only hope now with increasing importance being given to provide law and order and to end the state of impunity, the overall security situation will improve for the better. That the government is serious can be gleaned from the instructions of Home Minister Bhim Rawal to the security personnel in Dhangadhi Tuesday to fight lawlessness and that the government would act as their shield that would be vital in dealing with impunity.