After being stalled, an agreement between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists has been rescued, and the Maoists have called off their blockade of the country\'s towns from Monday. The two sides issued separate statements Sunday saying their December pact is on track and pledging "continued negotiations and search for common ground".
The seven parties after a meeting of their leaders in Kathmandu issued a statement saying the two sides would build on their pact and work towards reinstatement of parliament that would set up an all-party government to talk with the Maoists and work towards constituent assembly elections so that sovereignty is restored to the people. Soon after, Maoist leader Prachanda emailed a similar statement to media saying his party would like a political conference of all democratic forces to set up an interim government to organize constituent assembly polls.
The parties have also agreed to push ahead with their plans to have a nationwide general strike 6-9 April and a massive rally in Kathmandu on 8 April as part of a reinvigourated \'people\'s movement\' to force the king to restore democracy.
The government has already harshly criticized the party-Maoist talks warning it would announce curfews to foil any anti-government rallies because of the fear of Maoist infiltration. Sunday's agreement was expected on Friday but it hit complications when the NC-D's Sher Bahadur Deuba refused to back the pact and there was opposition from the parties to a joint statement with the Maoists which the rebels wanted. It took a day of intense behind-the-scenes talks to rescue the talks.
Analysts say the agreement to stay on course means the Maoists want the legitimacy that a joint \'people\'s movement\' with the parties wouild give their struggle. Meanwhile, the parties have been under pressure from their own cadre who accuse the Maoists of continued violence and from sections of the international community who are opposed to parties agreeing to Maoist demands without the rebels first renouncing violence.