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“Integration in three weeks”

Monday, February 20th, 2012

PUSHPA_KAMAL_DAHAL_3_6901f[1]Interview with Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ in Nagarik,
20 February

You had to step down from your post because of the army and now you are favoring them. Why are you so keen on integration?
Dahal: We never had problems with the army as such. There was conflict because then army chief refused to follow the government’s decision. Now we have come to the final stages of integration. If the army and Maoists are able to work together, it should be good news for everyone. We have come to realise that completing the integration process is in the greater interest of the country. That is what people expect of me as leader of the biggest political party and commander of the PLA to achieve. I have been trying to speed up integration for this reason.

The army has said that it can give posts up to Major after integration. What do you have to say?
It is not wrong for the army to say that. During normal circumstances, what they are saying makes sense. But these are special circumstances and solutions have to be sought through political decisions. The seven point agreement hasn’t said that there cannot be anyone higher up than a major. Our point was that having a Maoist representative at the directorate would help us complete the integration and conclude the peace process faster.

So when will the peace process be completed?
In 15-20 days, once the working plan is sorted.

Will constitution writing gather speed after that?
Peace process does not just mean emptying the cantonments. There are other issues like forming the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the commission on the missing people, rehabilitating war victims etc. Constitution writing is also a part of the peace process. Army integration will be complete within three weeks. And then there will be no place to blame the Maoists. The constitution will also be written.

But there are several contentious issues in the constitution.
There are differences on issues of state restructuring, governance and judicial system. But the bone of contention is on the basis for forming states. This is going to be the most problematic part in writing the statute.

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