Although many hidden issues of misuse of the government funds by Maoist may be there, the first phase of verification and regrouping process has completed without any disturbance. The time is now to vacate the cantonments and hand over the verified Maoist combatants to the security agency. Then, the process of integration will begin.
Despite the completion of the first phase of verification and agreement on the constitution writing, there is still a long way to go for completion of the twin tasks. Nepalese politics has gone through many ups and downs in the last five years but one of the failures of the period is the incomplete peace and constitution process. Although Nepali Congress has shown a maximum flexibility in the constitution writing and peace process, UCPN-Maoist always betrayed us. Had Maoists shown their sincere commitment to the peace process, it would have completed a long time back. As a main opposition democratic party, Nepali Congress has made the utmost possible efforts to complete the peace process.
From the very beginning, leaders of UCPN- Maoist have made efforts to play with the country’s major political parties. It is very strange that out of 19,000 registered Maoists, 3,000 are missing. The initial report of verification has shown that United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) has also played at the hands of the Maoists. Otherwise, the numbers would not have fluctuated in such a manner. It is very strange that even UCPN-Maoist is misusing the state funds by showing fake numbers of combatants in the cantonments. If the number is fake, the Maoists should return the misused funds or else the general public will have to think about other alternatives. Nepali Congress has kept the accounts of misused funds by the Maoists.
Our estimates have shown that the government paid over Rs. 2 billion to Maoist party to feed the fake Maoists. It is unfortunate that Maoists even took United Nations Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) in confidence to misappropriate more than 150 million rupees from the state funds. If UNMIN verification was wrong, the government has to take necessary actions against those involved in the process. The Maoist party must show where the money has gone. If the money was misappropriated, those involved in the process need to be booked and brought to the public. We have got the evidence about the misappropriation of the funds allocated to the Maoists. We want full investigation on the misappropriation of the funds.
When UNMIN left the country a year ago, nothing happened in the cantonment and in the process of integration. Our verification team found many flaws and irregularities in the verification process of UNMIN. When our verification team found so many flaws in the process, the concerned person involved in the process has to take responsibility for it.
At a time when country’s all major political parties have been stressing the need to complete the peace process, it is up to the Maoists to fulfill it. Peace process is possible provided that the Maoists implement past accords. Only way to complete the peace process is the Maoist’s commitment and implementation of the accord arrived at in the past.
Nepali Congress is committed to the 7-point agreement signed by the four parties. As per the agreement, we are ready to integrate 6,500 Maoist combatants in the security forces. There is no question to add to the number. What we have said is final. If we change the stand from time to time, it is impossible to complete the peace process and constitution writing. So far as Nepali Congress is concerned, our priority is the peace process. The government is giving the least priority for us now. After the completion of the peace process, then Nepali Congress will consider to join the government. We will not join the government till the completion of the peace process. We have already made it clear that it is the turn of Nepali Congress now to lead the national consensus government. As a large party in the Constituent Assembly, our party should be given the opportunity to lead the next national consensus government with the mandate to promulgate the new constitution and hold the fresh elections.
(Singh is general secretary of Nepali Congress and member of Constituent Assembly)