UNMIN EXIT  Parting Wounds

As the date for UNMIN’s exit nears, Maoists, strangely enough, are on overdrive to extend its term<br>&nbsp;SANJAYA DHAKAL

Jan. 10, 2011, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No .-14 Jan. 07-2011 (Poush 23,2067)

More the January 15 – the date of expiry of UNMIN’s term – draws closer, more curiouser the Maoists are acting.

Just three weeks prior to its departure date, Maoist standing committee overturned party’s earlier agreement with the government to end the UNMIN term in mid-January.

And as the date for UNMIN’s term expiry is only two weeks away, the Maoists made an even stranger decision of exploring the possibility to knock the door of the Supreme Court against the government’s decision to let the UNMIN pack up and leave.

“The interim constitution itself has provision about UNMIN. Therefore, the government cannot simply state that UNMIN’s term will not be extended. We are discussing the issue of whether to approach the court against this decision of the government,” Maoist spokesperson Dinanath Sharma said following the standing committee meeting of the party on January 2.

The Maoist exercise to keep the UNMIN is against its written agreement with the government.

Four months ago, Prachanda had signed a four-point deal with the government stating the bilateral agreement to ask the UN Security Council to extend the term of the UNMIN – for the last time – for four more months.

But as that d-date arrived closer, the Maoists seem to be getting increasingly nervous.

Whether their disquiet is a genuine concern about the vacuum that could follow UNMIN’s departure or is a carefully calibrated tactic to create a public feeling that they alone are serious about the logical conclusion of the peace process is not too clear.

That they are proceeding with a plan based on the latter course of action, however, gains currency especially if one looks at it from the perspective of recent decisions of the Maoist party post-Palungtar – to prepare for people’s revolt.

Such a move by the Maoists on UNMIN – despite the full knowledge among their leaders on the high improbability of its success – can put them on good light when the parties have to inevitably confront each other in the run up to the May 28 deadline of the Constituent Assembly (CA).

That will be the time when the Maoists could fully exploit their current position on UNMIN.

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