Nepal has been passing though a very critical time and it is the duty of all political parties to support any move to conclude the peace process and draft the new constitution. We have now less than a monthleft to meet the deadline for promulgating the new constitution. With the best interest of the people and country in view, Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal has been working now. After a meeting with PrimeMinister Khanal on Monday, UCPN-Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda also came out with a strong message to conclude the peace process. This is a positive development. If integration of Maoistcombatants is carried out, the peace process will near conclusion. The commitments and schedules announced by Maoist leader Prachanda in the press conference are positive towards that direction. Political parties in Nepal have shown that they are much matured and that they agree on the issues of national agenda. Four years ago, all the political parties joined hands against the autocratic rule ofmonarchy. It is the unity of political parties which ushered in the new era in Nepal establishing it as a federal democratic and secular republic.
We signed the 12-point agreement with the Maoists and launched the joint agitation in April 2006. Due to the joint agitation, Janandolan II brought about the historic change. Given the past experiences, I still believe that we can make a change for the betterment of the country.
Prime Minister Khanal has been pursuing the cause of constitution and peace. This is one of the reasons the prime minister wants to constitute a national consensus government under his leadership. He proposed this to the main opposition party, Nepali Congress. If Nepali Congress leaders agree, Prime Minister Khanal will take necessary further steps. During the signing of the five-point agreement, PrimeMinister Khanal said that he would quit if once there is any possibility in forming a national consensus government. He still holds the view that if political parties bring a proposal for the nationalconsensus government he is not going to create any obstacle.
I don’t understand any reason behind blocking the parliamentary procedure by the main opposition Nepali Congress without any valid reason. Such steps will create more gaps and misunderstanding among the country’s major political parties. I think this is the time for writing the new constitution and concluding the peace process. There is the need to develop greater consensus and harmony among the political parties so they can write the constitution. Minor irritants can create more trouble in future.Prime Minister Khanal has already made it clear that he will abide by the five-point agreement. This is his bottom line. He made this clear in meetings with Nepali Congress leaders. So far as the resignation of Prime Minister Khanal is concerned, it is not a political solution at all. He preferred a consensus government at this crucial juncture rather than a majority government. We have already seen that a majority government cannot solve the country’s burning problems. This is the reason Prime Minister Khanal has made it clear that if the situation for national consensus government emerges, he will be ready to make sacrifices.
I am very much ashamed the way some of our party leaders have been trying to misinterpret the decision of standing committee and central committee. The standing committee and central committee gave a clear cut mandate to Prime Minister Khanal to take necessary decisions in favor of peace and constitution. As long as Prime Minister Khanal’s action is directed towards the constitution and peace, nobody can raise any question. Every individual has the right to speak his or her mind. This is a democratic right and our party leaders too can exercise such rights. So far as taking the decision regarding the government is concerned, it is Prime Minister Khanal’s prerogative to reshuffle the cabinet. As per his prerogative, Prime Minister Khanal has reshuffled the cabinet, inducting nine ministers in it. Even our central committee and standing committee said so. Prime Minister Khanal is not only our party leader but he is also the prime minister of Nepal and it is the duty of the prime minister change and induct ministers in his cabinet. I don’t think irresponsibility of some of our party leaders will not pay to strengthening our party but it will further weaken our party organization.
After induction of new Maoist ministers in the cabinet by Prime Minister Khanal, Maoist leaders have to show their commitment towards peace and constitution making. UCPN-Maoist leader Prachanda has already declared that he will show some tangible change within ten days regarding the peace process and constitution making. I don’t think the words of leaders like Prachanda will vanish in the ears. By inducting Maoist ministers in the cabinet the prime minister has already completed his task and now it is the task of Maoist leader Prachanda to translate his commitments to reality.
(Jwala is Prime Minister Khanal’s political advisor. This is taken from what he told Radio Nepal)