Conflicting statements :

This refers to Lok Raj Baral’s article “Nepali politics” (THT, Oct. 5). While on the one hand Baral emphasises the need for the Maoists to come into the political mainstream, on the other, he maintains that the party is expected to “adhere to its radical agenda without

becoming violent or aggressive.”

Aren’t the two positions contradictory? For how are the Maoists to abandon their violent ways without giving up arms, and without laying down arms, how can they enter the political

mainstream? Hence, while the writer’s stance is sound in theory, it does not have a realistic chance of success.

But his take on the NC losing its way is correct to a large extent. It’s about time the NC and other major political parties changed their old ways and adapted themselves to the changed scenario. Even the party with NC’s stature might lose its political clout if it fails to institute reform within its rank and file.

If people start believing that the mainstream political parties are incapable of solving their problems, they are likely to defect to the Maoist camp.

This is a real danger that the parties should take note of. The Maoists, on their part, need to give up arms and take into their confidence the Nepali people as well as the international community.

Jaya Raj Acharya, Golfutar

Compromise :

As both the government and the Maoists stick to their demands, a compromise may not come out of the ongoing peace talks.

Compromises are the essence of any political solution.

Therefore, it is strange that the Maoists are not ready to compromise on the issue of arms management while the government insists that the rebels lay down arms before the Constituent Assembly polls.

The nation cannot bear the consequences of any breakdown of the peace process. The members of the civil society should also speak up. Though they have often acted in favour of the Maoists in the past, they have an important role to play in the peace process.

Nischal Paudel, via e-mail

Impunity :

This refers to the report “Villagers gherao army battalion HQ” (THT, Oct. 5). This is not the first incident when security men have misbehaved with women, prompting the civilians to protest against them. Army personnel in Nepal seem to take the code of discipline for granted, ignoring the people’s rights and sentiment.

The latest incident in Phidim highlights the increasing impunity with which armed men, whether the Maoists or state soldiers, indulge in their wanton acts. For an institution that is

supposed to act in an illustrious manner, it is indeed a shame that it has no control over its rank and file.

In most cases of abuse, we never know if the guilty have been punished by the military court. It might be worthwhile to impart to new army recruits not only regular army training but also that soldiers must behave well with the public or they will invite strict disciplinary action.

Kalpana Dhakal, via e-mail

Restore it :

I do not understand why THT dropped the popular column “Positive Living”. It should be restored.

Saurav Suman, Sanepa,

via e-mail