Though it was a historical achievement that Nepal has gotten into after the people’s movement in April this year, the road ahead to a real political stability in the country looks tedious if not entirely disappointing. The sluggishness in the peace process is being indicated by one or the other form of obstacles. For instance, lack of full-throttle understanding between the seven parties in the government itself and rather the frequent distrust being expressed by the Maoist rebels over the government’s actions, which they see sometimes as “deceiving,” “suspicious,” and sometimes as making ground for the undemocratic forces, “still acting from the background,” to conspire.
The government has taken a major approach by sending a letter to the UN requesting mediation in the ongoing peace process. The letter was recently made public after the persuasion caused by curiosities and even suspicions, raised among the politicians, intellectuals, and the Maoist rebels. Yes, the revelation of the letter has killed many curiosities; has also aroused a new round of dissatisfaction, suspicion, and also optimism.
The force that is mainly dissatisfied with the contents in the letter is non-other-than the Maoist rebels, without whose cooperation the desired peace cannot be achieved. Will the government and the Maoists again be at the loggerheads, the fear seems to have arisen among the ordinary people?
The letter is meant for involving the UN to coordinate the arms and cadres of both the Nepal Army and the Maoists during the time of the constituent assembly election. Being the arms management the basic motive of the letter, what the rebels are contesting is that the letter mentions “the Maoists’ armies should surrender their weapons, while the only direction for the Nepal army is that they would remain in the barracks” during the constituent assembly election.
Meanwhile the most anticipated summit talks between the Maoists and the government scheduled this Friday has been postponed. The home minister and the government’s coordinator for negotiation, Krishna Prasad Situala, has officially announced that the summit talks has been called-off and the date for the proposed talks will be fixed according to the understanding with the Maoists. The reason given for the cancellation of the talks is that though “the rebels are all ready,” the government is still not prepared with its sufficient homework.
But, the Maoists’ spokesperson and coordinator of the talks from the rebels side, Krishna Bahadur Mahara, has expressed doubt whether the summit talks will be held or not. The discontent aroused from the issue of the arms-management policy projected by the government is being seen as the reason behind such pessimism expressed by the rebels, for which they seems to have felt “discriminated.”
Besides these frequent distrusts hailing the peace process, hope also seems to be making its way, because the current struggle for peace and a completely democratic Nepal is not seen as only a intention of any single party or institution, but of every one of those, including the politically tainted party leaders in the past and the bloodily motivated Maoist rebels who jointly participated in the historic people’s movement, and have promised that they would leave no-stone-unturned to make the ongoing political transformation a success, all in all, “realizing and amending” their wrongdoings in the past.
The obstacles are a part of any democratic transformation, and the current difficulties facing Nepal can’t also be seen otherwise. Yes, it would take time for the past political players to significantly revolutionize themselves according to the modern expectations, but the basic desire to attain democracy and peace seems to be a common ground of the majority of the players in Nepal, at least at the current juncture.
What needs to be well-structured is the mutual trust, eliminating every bit of suspicion aroused from time to time. And, to bridge this trust and avoid any foul play during the peace process, the participation of the experienced and neutral organ like the UN is specially seen with a much importance regarding the current political imbroglio in Nepal.
At the meantime, following the request made by the Nepal government, a eight-member team of the UN will be arriving in Nepal next Wednesday, who will perform homework to prepare ground for the management of the arms and cadres of the both the Nepal Army and the Maoists. According to a recent report, the UN envoys will be discussing with the every political player in the country in order to sort out a widely agreed solution, regarding the aspects on how to tackle the political instability and fairly conducting the constituent assembly election, the date of which is yet to be announced.