KATHMANDU, April 12: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai said on Thursday that the country has finally reverted to the active and constructive politics after a long spell of mutual mistrust among the political actors, with the PLA cantonments and their weapons coming under the control of the Nepal Army (NA).
"Mutual suspicion among the parties is being removed and intra-party trust is building up. … I am happy and proud of the fact that the government under my leadership contributed to the creation of such an environment," stated the prime minister in his written speech Thursday afternoon.
Bhattarai´s address to the nation comes two days after the Special Committee decided to mobilize NA personnel to take control of the PLA cantonments and the weapons containers. He stated that he took charge of the government at a time when there were widespread speculations that the country would turn into a failed state.
Stating that the country no longer has two armies after the latest development, he argued that only a few remaining technical issues on PLA integration would be settled very soon.
"It was not possible without the Maoist flexibility, responsible role played by NA, understanding of the political parties and the PLA. I would like to thank all of them on behalf of the government and the whole nation," he stated.
In an attempt to defuse discontent in the cantonments, he said he appreciates the role played by the combatants. "I salute the PLA fighters for their extraordinary boldness during the People´s War," he said, adding that he also appreciates the "responsible role" played by the NA and its leadership during the integration process.
In his speech, Bhattarai also told the Maoist hardliners, who have dubbed the mobilization of the NA in the cantonment an act of capitulationism, that whims alone would not make the revolution successful, but careful thoughts. "The revolution in Nepal is determined by the objective reality of the world, regional situation, and the class and political power balance within the country," he said and urged the hardliners not to incite the commanders and combatants with malafide intentions.
On the other key issues of the peace process, the prime minister said that the government has almost given a final shape to the bills on disappearance and truth and reconciliation commissions and will be formally endorsed by parliament in a few weeks. He also said that the government has already allocated Rs 200,000 each to the families of the martyrs and the disappeared and decided to provide allowances and medical facilities to the injured and the physically disabled.
The Maoist leader said that the government has already sent the bill on inclusion to parliament for endorsement, formulated the concept paper to make the NA an inclusive institution, formed the commission on the welfare of the Muslims, and is in the process of forming another commission for the development of the Karnali region. He also informed that the government is doing serious homework to prepare a bill on land reforms.
On constitution drafting, the prime minister said that he is committed to promulgating the new constitution by May 27 and asked all the stakeholders to make certain compromises.
"History will not pardon those who will hinder the constitution drafting process in one pretext or another," he said. Bhattarai also dismissed the speculations that the country will revive the 1990 constitution in a modified form or that the new constitution would be promulgated by deferring the issue of federalism. He assured that identity and capability will be the major basis for federalism.