In the meantime we must keep an eye on the deadline for the drafting of the constitution. Work by the sub-committee under the Constitutional Committee continues apace, and its tenure was extended by a fortnight last week. But it's hard to avoid the feeling that with another extension of the Constituent Assembly an increasingly likely possibility, the biggest issues are being dodged. While each and every one of the disputed constitutional issues is important, until the politicians come to an agreement on governance structure and the restructuring of the state, Nepalis will be in the dark regarding what shape the federal republic of Nepal will take.
With public consultations an impossibility under the current timeline for constitution writing, by now it is probably not a good idea for the politicians to rush through a makeshift constitution, even if they were able to. If the relatively straightforward issue of citizenship rights, particularly with regards to women, generated such cackhanded resolutions on the part of the now-defunct high level taskforce, one can only imagine what political exigencies will do to the practical, legal and moral concerns that must be taken into account when deciding on how Nepal is to be structured. There must be checks and balances on the mistakes the Constitutional Committee might make in the form of public consultations.
This will be possible once more if the Constituent Assembly is extended. A detailed timeline on both integration/rehabilitation of the PLA and constitution writing is an absolute must before this extension is effected. Of course timelines can and have been adjusted to suit political inaction. It is thus all the more necessary for the Maoists, UML, Nepali Congress, and the fragmented Madhes bloc to come to an agreement if not on power-sharing, at least on these two outstanding issues. Nepali Congress must rouse itself from its slumber and play its part in the peace process, if not in government. The Madhes parties should immediately desist from dreams of another movement aided not by the people of the Madhes, but its criminals. There is no time to stand and stare, and even less to indulge in repellent brinkmanship.
All's not lost, PRASHANT JHA
Mistake 2.0, DAMAKANT JAYSHI