Foreign Affairs

Yet another extension:sort out the ambiguity

After marathon talks, Nepali political parties finally agreed to make a deal which averted the crisis that was looming large, should the tenure of Constituent Assembly not have been extended. The three major parties struck a five point deal according to the reports in Nepali media:

 1. Completion of fundamentals of peace process within three months

 2.Preparation of the first draft of new constitution within three months.

 3.Implementation of past agreements with Madheshi Front while making the National Army more inclusive

 4.Extension of Constituent Assembly by three months

 5. Prime Minister’s resignation to pave the way for the formation of national consensus government.

Though this agreement has averted the immediate crisis, it has created a lot of confusions due to its ambiguity and has loopholes which can allow parties to interpret for their political convenience.

Let’s look at few instances quickly: First point in the agreement mentions about completing the fundamentals of peace process within three months. Neither it does have a clear time table to move the process ahead nor the leaders made clear about this. The issue of cessation of dual security cap provided to the Maoists leaders–which was a hot topic during talks, did not figure out in the agreement. At least leaders could have made clear to the people. They have repeated their old style of forging agreement in closed doors and interpreting in different ways afterwards(they are just doing the politics).

Another matter : what should be done to the demand of handing the key of arms containers to government or special committee? It’s still unanswered. Neither the number of Maoist combatants to be integrated and rehabilitated and the modality plus the regrouping could figure out in the last-minute talks. Everything revolved round the resignation of prime minister according to the leaders privy to the discussions. So, are the things mentioned above( dual security, keys of arms containers)just matters to show up and the power thing was cooking inside ?

Next thing: prime minister’s resignation: two types of versions have already emerged regarding the resignation. Prime Minister JN Khanal and his aides have clearly told that prime minister is not going to step until and unless there is no sight of consensus government along with the consensus candidate. Leaders of Nepali Congress and Madheshi parties have a different version of it–Prime Minister should resign immediately which Khanal has flatly rejected. These things have clearly signaled the repitition of the drama a year back. It has been of utmost importance for everybody to understand this fact. It is the major duty of parties to deliver their promises but I am quite sure that this time also they are going to waste the time bickering over the partisan interests(read individual interests of leaders backed by ‘external’ force). so people who have shown positive energy on pressurizing the lawmakers, parties to avert the crisis should stick to their energy until the peace and constitution writing processes come to a logical end. it’s better to start now rather than waiting the final days to finish another extension.