Tulips can grow
The report of the Maoists seizing nine NOC oil tankers from Agaiya of Banke district is indeed news because such actions are hardly going to affect the powers-that-be. The tankers, carrying 108 kilolitres of petroleum products, were on their way to Dang from Nepalgunj. A police constable was killed in crossfire between the Maoists and security forces at Ranjha Chowk of Nepalgunj. Likewise, six civilians, including a child, were injured after a Maoist-planted bomb went off at Chhorepatan of Pokhara. All these incidents happened on Saturday. Howsoever deplorable may this spate of killings, bomb blasts, kidnappings, and extortions, there is no sign of a visible end to it, given the present stances of the country’s political forces. What is, however, indisputable is that the ordinary people are continuously made to bear the brunt of the conflict.
The only possible road to peace seems to be a political solution based on democracy and interests of the nation and the people. With the objective of bringing the Maoists into the political mainstream, the seven-party alliance reached a 12-point pact with the rebels last November. The government and forces friendly to it are doing their utmost to unravel this understanding. But the truth is even the breakup of this understanding is not going to bring peace as the past experience shows. All this stresses the need for the three principal forces to settle for a compromise as there is no military solution to the insurgency.
Keeping in mind the sovereign powers of the people, the best the political forces can do is to tone down their penchant for foreign support as the ultimate healer of the wound. A dangerous trend that has been set in Nepali politics with the political forces tending to seek foreign support, material or moral, whenever it suits them and decry it whenever it hurts their vested interest. It is indeed high time for all of them to come together within a broad democratic framework and start making sense.