Monday, June 23, 2008

General Rookmangad Katawal and Koirala

PM Koirala confers with army chief

With CPN (Maoist) party now out of the government to apply pressure from the Constituent Assembly for the formation of a new government, Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Monday held consultations with Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Rookmangad Katawal.

The meeting between PM Koirala, who also holds the defense portfolio, and COAS Katawal comes a day after CPN (Maoist) party decided to launch "people's struggle" for change of guard after the meeting of the seven political parties failed to reach consensus over the structure of Security Council, including a few issues on army integration.

Although it was said that the security related issues featured very highly during the meeting between the two that took place at Baluwatar, Katawal is learnt to have expressed his concern over the problem(s) that might crop up in the issue of army integration in the absence of Koirala.

PM Koirala has increased his meetings with army chief Katawal of late, especially after the possibility of him getting the post of president started to look very slim.

According to latest amendment in the interim constitution, the Nepali Army would remain under the control of president.

Only last Friday General Katawal had met PM Koirala at the latter's official residence when major left parties were holding talks to build an alliance so as not to allow Koirala to become the first president of the country. ag June 23 08

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