Any sign?

All along it has been a thorny issue. This is in reference to the supervision, integration and rehabilitation of the former Maoist soldiers. For one thing, the discharge of the disqualified PLA personnel is going on smoothly sparking a ray of hope, particularly for the government and the UNMIN, which will be here till May. However, the UCPN (M) should have been all the more concerned on the score of the slow progress that the peace process is making. But, that does not seem to be the case. The case now is of the former Maoist combatants coming under civilian control. For this the Special Committee on Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation has finalized and endorsed the formation of a 9-member secretariat to monitor, control and direct the combatants. This may have to do with the time frame that has been floated by Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal for the army integration action plan. The hurried pace with which the attempt is being made for the integration aspect has to be taken with some skepticism because of the many factors that will have to be streamlined besides the necessary meeting point of all the stakeholders concerned, the main hurdle. The said secretariat is to include one member each from the Nepal Army, Nepal Police, Nepal Armed Police, and PLA, and four security experts besides the coordinator whose nomination has become a contentious issue. How it will be sorted out with the UCPN (M) demanding for more of its representatives included is yet to be seen.

The action is quite ambitious, and the haste to get it done before the new statute is promulgated cannot be the best move on the part of the government. Here, it may be worthwhile remembering that there are around 19,000 Maoist combatants whose future has to be decided. The supervision aspect aside, the biggest problem would be posed by the integration which in general is supposed to be in the national security organs. It is true that they are under civilian control, but how the integration and rehabilitation will move ahead is not as easy as has been the idea of forming the secretariat delineating the chain-of-command of the Maoist combatants in the cantonments. It may look like that the matters have been simplified, but there are difficulties in the sense that agreement from all quarters have to be forthcoming. This also becomes the prime target of consensus that is obviously falling into oblivion in recent months and was clear when agreement proved elusive on who would be the coordinator of the secretariat.

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement had talked about various major thrusts besides integration and rehabilitation of those in the cantonments. Now, the government's responsibility will further increase, and mere lip service is not going to achieve results according to the needs of the time. Howsoever the schedule has been arrived at, and the basis for that, it is a more complex task than what the mere formation of the body to do the needful can possibly tackle. What is the blueprint for achieving what has been spelt out? This is what calls for transparency, and, of course, the government's accountability, while the loopholes are aplenty.

Speaking biology

With many men going to work abroad for long periods, many of their marriages are in doldrums. The men have been found to be filing

increasing complaints with the police about their spouses betraying them not only by eloping but also taking away the property. Many of the wives when they learn that their husbands are coming home go to another district or outside the country, much to the consternation of the husbands. However, it has also been found that errant husbands working abroad are living together with other women there. Since most of such complaints involve young couples in their prime who are between 30 to 35 such incidents can be understood.

Living without their life partners for protracted periods fuels the feeling of being lonely, and it is no

surprise that complaints from married men are

coming to the police in rising number. But, it is

interesting to note that the number of married women filing complaints, according to the police, are not as numerous. In any case, kudos to the women folks for holding the fort back home while their men are in foreign lands to eke out a living so that their families may lead decent lives.