Saturday, January 8, 2011

Dr Bhattarai prescribes four bases to break prevailing deadlock

KATHMANDU: Unified CPN-Maoist Vice Chairman Dr Baburam Bhattarai today underlined the need to find a middle path between his party and other major political parties to break the current political stalemate.

Speaking at the closed-door session of a two-day seminar that is under way in New Delhi, Dr Bhattarai said, “We are not in favour of adopting the old parliamentary model of democracy and other political parties are not ready to accept our type of people’s republic. So, a middle path can be a win win situation for all of us,” Dr Bhattarai told the seminar.

Dr Bhattarai proposed four bases for agreement among the political parties to end the deadlock, said Dr Bhattarai’s personal aide Bishwodip Pande. Dr Bhattarai is the first Maoist senior leader to hold dialogue with New Delhi on several issues, most importantly — his party’s souring relations with India.

Dr Bhattarai’s panacea includes an agreement on a democratic model of governing system acceptable to all the parties; democratisation of the ‘old’ army and a respectable integration of PLA; agreement on an economic development policy that includes all the ethnic groups, classes, regions and gender; and a common stand on national independence and foreign policy.

He said this required a package deal on army integration, constitution-drafting and power-sharing. Based on the package deal, a consensus government should be formed under the leadership of the largest party of the country. “If the leadership of the largest party is not acceptable to all, a consensual candidate from any party or the civil society could lead a national consensus government,” he said.

He claimed that this roadmap will lead the peace process to a logical conclusion and the constitution will be promulgated on time. “Besides, there would be political stability for the country to move ahead on a path of economic development.”

Meanwhile Maoist leader and PLA in-charge, Barshaman Pun said the army should be restructured to align it with the political philosophy underlying the restructuring of the state. In his paper , Pun insists that the Maoist party and PLA were the forces that emerged victorious politically by toppling the monarchy, and that the PLA can be brought under the Special Committee soon.

He said there should be an understanding on the four steps: Voluntary discharge with a golden handshake, lucrative option for rehabilitation, special package for those with physical disability and integration into a new national army. He outlined three options for integration, saying the preferred option was to create a separate new force that could be ‘given responsibility of border security, protection and management of national parks, forests, industrial complexes, highways, to name a few’.

The second option is to create a new force by bringing together equal number of individuals from all security forces. The third option is unit-wise integration of PLA into the Nepali Army, Armed Police Force and Nepal Police.

He said the standard norms cannot be accepted. “The Special Committee can formulate specific norms for our context and if necessity arises, additional trainings can be imparted to PLA personnel to be integrated,” he said. Pun added, “The schedule of writing the constitution and army integration should go hand in hand.”

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