KATHMANDU, Nov 21: Seven political parties in the ruling coalition have termed participation of the Maoist combatants in the party´s plenum a blatant violation of the Comprehensive Peace Accord (CPA) and other agreements reached in the past.
The leaders said the Maoists complicated the situation further by turning a deaf ear to repeated pleas of the political parties, civil society and the United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) not to make the fighters participate in the party´s plenum.
"Participation of the combatants, who are waiting for possible integration [in the security agencies,] is against the CPA and other agreements. Their participation at the plenum that is to chalk out the strategy and future course of the Maoist party has further complicated the process of integration and rehabilitation of the combatants," said a three-point statement issued after the meeting of the seven parties held the UML head office in in Balkhu.
Top leaders of Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML, Madhesi People´s Rights Forum-Democratic (MPRF-D), Tarai-Madhes Democratic Party (TMDP), CPN (ML), Rastriya Janashakti Party (RJP) and Dalit Janjati Party (DJP) were present at the meeting. Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal and UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, among other top leaders from the party, were also present at the meeting that was convened by KP Sharma Oli.
UML Spokesperson Pradip Gyawali said the fighters participating in the plenum will no longer be considered combatants waiting for possible integration. "They will be treated merely as Maoist cadres. They can opt for voluntary exit or rehabilitation program but not the integration plan," Gyawali told mediapersons after the meeting.
The parties also strongly condemned the Maoist assault on ministers and lawmakers in parliament while Finance Minister Surendra Pandey was heading to the rostrum to present the annual budget.
"This incident has further proved that the Maoists are not sincere toward peace, democracy and agreements reached in the past," said the statement.
The parties also decided to further intensify talks with a view to strengthen unity among the democratic parties. "We will hold dialogues with the Maoists as well. But, prior to that, we will talk to other parties in a bid to reach an understanding on mounting pressure on the Maoists," he said.
NC President Sushil Koirala, UML Chairman Jhalanath Khanal, MPRF-D Chairman Bijay Kumar Gachchhadar, TMDP Chairman Mahantha Thakur, CPN (ML) General Secretary CP Mainali, RJP Chairman Surya Bahadur Thapa and DJP Chairman Bishwendra Paswan signed the statement.
Prime Minister Nepal had briefed the leaders from other parties why the government opted to introduce budget through ordinance and about the agreement reached with the Maoists.