Invitation To Instability, Nepal

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Even some of those who were initially euphoric over the 12-point understanding between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists have now begun to review their reaction. Various sections of society have pointed out the depth of the drawbacks and discrepancies in the accord reached in Delhi the other day. The leaders who signed the pact have a hard timing justifying their action. They describe the pact as historic and path-breaking as if durable peace is within close sight.

The very parties that until not long ago upheld the validity of the 1990 Constitution now call for a constituent assembly. Placing the Royal Nepal Army under international supervision betrays the real intention of the masterminds behind the accord. In their craving for immediate power, they have abandoned principles.

There are many who are trying to extract advantage from Nepal’s current situation. Their collective efforts at making a spectacle of themselves have only disenchanted the general public. They will do anything to draw some cheap political points. Adherence to principles has never been a hallmark of the high priests of our political parties that pursue power and privilege by any means and at any cost. The pact with the Maoists they reviled so vehemently till recently underscores this most tellingly. It speaks of the height of their desperation.

The Maoists are aware of the opportunism the mainstream parties have once again so shamelessly exhibited. The rebels consider the recent understanding as being to their advantage. The seven parties have paraded themselves as a weakling removed from any principled stand. They describe the agreement as a breakthrough, although the rebels are given a distinct upper hand and are yet to renounce violence.

Having reached the understanding, will the seven parties now justify all future activities of the rebels? Will they emulate the Maoists? Division in the seven agitating parties has disjointed and disoriented their rank and file. Leaders of various parties, within and outside the seven-party alliance, echo discordant notes.

Speaker of the House of Representatives, Taranath Ranabhat says that constituent assembly would invite disintegration of the country. The President of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party, Narayan Man Bijukchhe, says keeping Nepali army under the control of foreign powers would put the country’s independence and sovereignty at risk.

Nepali Congress leader Shailaja Acharya condemns what she terms as the unnatural and anti-national pact that poses a threat to her party’s existence. The Joint General Secretary of Nepali Congress, Dr. Ram Sharan Mahat fears that the Maoists might treat the understanding only as a strategy amidst reports that they continue expanding their fighting strength.

C.P. Mainali, of the Marxist-Leninist Party, expresses strong reservations over the accord, as the Maoists are yet to lay down their weapons. Janamorcha Nepal’s General Secretary Nava Raj Subedi is unhappy with his party president Lila Mani Pokharel who signed the Delhi understanding. For Pokharel was asked to only hold talks and by no means to sign any pact.

In brief, the Delhi understanding highlights more discrepancies than producing a convincing roadmap for durable peace. It could be ammunition for trouble and uncertainty, inviting instability and encouragement to groups reposing faith in weapons of violence.