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UNMIN extension

Friday, April 9th, 2010

There has been no official confirmation yet but there are plenty of indications that the United Nations Missions to Nepal will remain here for a while. On Wednesday, the International Relations and Human Rights Committee of the parliament asked the government to extend its mandate, which is due to expire in a month. The Kathmandu Post reports:

“We have directed the government to extend UNMIN’s stay with additional mandate, if necessary,” said Padam Lal Bishwokarma, the House committee chairman. “UNMIN’s presence is crucial.”

Prime Minister Nepal told the committee that the government was aware of the void that the UN mission’s departure might create. “At this critical juncture, the government, the people and all international friends of Nepal want to see the impartial and effective role of UNMIN in the peace process,” said the prime minister. He, however, kept short of committing himself to the extension of UNMIN’s tenure.

But the prime minister said that UNMIN’s role could continue until the integration of Maoist Combatants is over. The Himalayan Times reports:

“UNMIN can be given a farewell if we manage to bring the verified Maoist combatants under the command of the Special Committee on Supervision, Integration and Rehabilitation of Combatants,” PM Nepal told lawmakers of the parliamentary International Relations and Human Rights Committee (IRHRC).

The PM said UNMIN’s tenure could be further extended if the term of the Constituent Assembly is extended as the peace and constitution-writing processes were inter-related.

On the MRP front, the parliament’s Public Accounts Committee has repeated its directive to the government to reactivate the bidding process according to the Public Procurement Act. Kantipur writes:

Saying that it was unfortunate that the government disregarded the PAC directives, the PAC meeting asked the government to probe the delay and lapses in the MRP procedures that was initiated five years back and find those responsible for the delay.

The Maoist party has called a banda on Monday to protest what they say is a ‘national security threat’ caused by the government’s decision to outsource the printing of machine readable passports to India.

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