Maoists to Liquidate PLA into Army


P.B. Pokhrel

Kathmandu, Nepal – UCPN Maoist’s recent decision to accept the integration modality proposed by the Nepal Army has raises a hope that the long being controversies over the People Liberation Army (PLA), former Maoist combatants, would come into end leading the country towards peace and constitution. Maoist’s recent decision can be termed as a good step.

But, this decision needs to cover miles more to successfully implement. The first and foremost challenge to implement the decision is making the unanimous from the Maoist party itself as hardliner faction of the party has been objecting the decision and pressing the established faction for not to implement the decision. Hardliner faction of the Maoist has a claim that accepting the army’s integration proposal is tantamount to surrender. Another challenge to implement the decision is taking into confidence to other political parties and stakeholders.

However, interesting point is that the so-called proposal itself is sorely lacking in detail and specificity on the issues of modalities, numbers and others. Neither the Nepal army nor the Maoist has made clear about the proposal. Not only the defense Ministry but also the other stake holders are expressing their ignorance over the proposal. There is sufficient space to make suspect over the Maoist’s last minute realization on the issue of PLA management.

Why they have waited far too long and made public the decision of accepting the army proposal to integrate the PLA just days before to end the extended deadline to promulgate a new constitution? General people would raise a question that if the Maoist were sincere about it, they could have brought the similar proposal long ago and initiated negotiations with other parties. However, whatever the skepticism is looming here, the recent decision of the Maoist indicates that the Maoist wants to resolve the combatants issue once and for all.

Notwithstanding these legitimate questions and suspicions over the proposal, Maoists, Nepal army and the government, it is urgent need to resolve the PLA interrogation and rehabilitation issue immediately. The government and the Maoist must respect the voice of the Nepali Congress, main opposition party, which has been demanding that the cantoned PLA should be categorized and segregated on the basis of those for joining the security forces and those opting for the rehabilitation package.

Not only the Nepali Congress but also the democratic force in the country and international community are not convinced that the Maoist really wants to resolve the PLA and opt the peace and constitution, thanks to its past commitments and subsequent contravention.

However, there it is impossible to accomplish the entire task relating to the PLA management within a few days. So, we would like to urge all the political parties represent in the Constituent Assembly (CA), particularly the big three- UCPN Maoist, Nepali Congress, CPN UML and Madhesh based parties to return on the negotiating table immediately to finalize the numbers and standard norms for integration and rehabilitation of the PLA. And, if the Maoist really wants to resolve the ongoing chaos through the consensus, it must initiate a dialogue with concrete decision. And, a national consensus government should be formed before May 28 to implement it.

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