Nepali Times
From The Nepali Press
Bamdeb’s reply to Jim

His Excellency American Ambassador James F Moriarty has called the 12-point pact between opposition parties and Maoists 'unfortunate'. After reading his it is not difficult to imagine why the autocratic royalists are a happy lot. The agreement with the Maoists was something we could not do even when we were in power or in the opposition bench in the parliament. Now that we have been able to reach into the agreement, all quarters except the autocratic royalists have been supportive of the pact. What has been applauded by political parties, civil society, the entire country, Nepali people and all the communities in Asia and Europe has been denounced by Moriarty.

To prove his point, he does not have anything more than a deep mistrust. This lack of trust can be cured if one stands on facts. Mistrust cannot be countered by mistrust. He has been repeatedly saying that Maoists will betray, misuse and eliminate the parties. Urging people to be imaginative, he has said: "Supposing that this regime falls, what could happen to the armed Maoists and the unarmed parties? Then you would see the Maoists' autocracy."

But, Moriarty fails to notice that the 12-point pact also includes an agreement by Maoists to lay down arms under the mediation of any credible international organisation. He also does not look at the possible consequences of the army's supreme commander, the king, to misuse the army to continue the autocratic monarchy for the next 50 years while the people are left to tolerate the medieval jungle rule even in the 21st century.

An election for a constituent assembly is a democratic process to reach a logical political outlet not only for the Maoists but also for the seven parties and the entire people's opinion that has been opposing the autocratic monarchy. I don't want this to be a challenge for the American ambassador, but if he is able to make the king agree to constituent assembly elections then the parties will take the responsibility to disarm the Maoists. If they fail to do so they will immediately abandon the 12-point pact.

It appears his excellency is quite appreciative of the king. Nepali kings have never been tolerant toward democracy. The history is the witness, kings have always betrayed the people and the parties. From BP Koirala till Sher Bahadur Deuba we have seen a history of betrayals. The incumbent monarch has violated successive agreements with the parties. With such a visible backdrop, one should be able to tell this to the king, and not the parties: The king should remain within the constitutional framework and should be content with what the parliament gives him. The king should not rule, he should just get the respect. If he wants more than that, he should become a common citizen.

The ambassador has once again suggested to the king that terrorism can be tackled if he joins hands with political parties. That means this country's first priority is to eliminate terrorism. It also means that restoration of democracy is not a priority. It follows, then, that if there was no so-called terrorism in Nepal, the United States of America would not have opposed the autocratic move of the king.

Our experience over the past ten years proves the ambassador wrong in his belief that the alliance between the king and the parties will end so-called terrorism. The violent movement was born and even grew when the monarch, parties and even the international community were standing together. It was during this period that 'terrorism' grew and spread. Going back to the same situation is the wrong prescription to resolve this crisis.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)