Nepal’s Maoists Out-of-Sync with Rest of Nation
Nepal’s Maoists Out-of-Sync with Rest of Nation
Five months have passed since the People’s Non-Violent movement forced Nepal’s King Ginandra to dissociate himself from state power, reinstate Parliament, and return sovereignty to the people. The euphoric optimism of the first days of freedom made way for many positive decisions in favor of the peace process. However, certain vital decisions accepted too hurriedly regarding the Maoist conflict, did not heed ground reality. These particular decisions link directly to the present state of confusion and mistrust.
Regarding the Maoists, what has really changed in the past five months to prove their good will? Yes, we hear lots of Maoist lip service to the peace process, but what evidence has surfaced that their violent agenda has ceased? Maoist leadership has yet to denounce publicly violent methods to achieve political gain. Maoist cadres have yet to cease violent actions against innocent civilians. If the Maoists truly accepted the peace process and multi-party system of government as they said, they have an obscure way of showing it. What is not obscure, however, is their continued hurriedness to implement rulings in their own favor.
To date, observing the antics of Maoist leaders at the peace table, one wonders if they have the maturity to be part of Nepal’s multi-party Government at this time. Euphoric hope coupled with a pressurized situation, not only resulted in misreading Maoist intention, but also a hurried agreement to power-share without disarming the so-called People’s Liberation Army. Should Nepal fall into the prison of Maoists ill intention, one can easily imagine the national devastation that will follow.
We continue to see the actions of Hezbollah in Lebanon. It may not be fully justified to compare the Maoists of Nepal with them, but one can find many similarities. For instance, Hezbollah is a state within a state as the Maoists declare themselves to be in Nepal. Secondly, to what degree Hezbollah and the Maoists are proxies of other nations and how far they can maneuver by themselves is debatable. However, many nations do not recognize them as legitimate political forces. Finally, we recently observed how Lebanon brought devastation upon itself as a direct consequence of its inability to disarm Hezbollah. What is to prevent a similar situation erupting in Nepal if the Maoists become part of the government without publicly denouncing violence and disarming their PLA?
It defies reason that if the Maoists truly mean good by the people of Nepal, they delay in passing a political resolution within their party stating violence is no longer acceptable as a means for political gain. Why such reluctance to say and act as true believers in non-violence? Sadly, it appears the Maoists are repeating their own history, which is to exploit any peace process in order to buy time. Publicly, their leaders use clever rhetoric resonating with only a facsimile of sincerity and acceptance of the peace process and a multi-party system. However, behind closed doors, it is likely they greatly manipulate their bargaining tool of keeping an armed PLA in place as a threat of more violence if their demands go unmet. Democratic political parties do not keep a brutal armed force to win the hearts and minds of the people. Therefore, many people of conscience believe it was never the Maoist intention to settle political issues peacefully. Rather, people see them continually engaged in formulating tactical strategies to regroup to further shatter the nation’s remaining capabilities.
Truly, the decade-long Maoist insurgency devastated our economic and human resources. Moreover, they cost us our political maneuverability. We have observed the Maoist party, supported by Indian intelligentsia; cement their differences after their leaders made a Pilgrimage to Delhi. In addition, because King Gynandra never initiated dialogue among Nepal’s political key players, the 12-point understanding between the Maoists and the SPA leaders was also formulated in Delhi. Finally, Karan Singh, former King of Kashmir, visited Kanthmandu as the special envoy from Delhi. Soon after his visit, King Gynandra returned sovereignty to the people. It seems even now, we have yet to regain our former capabilities. Hurried decisions at this critical juncture appear foolhardy at best.
In summary, the Maoists seem very hurried to dissolve the hard-won parliament and join the government without abandoning their arms. The Maoist leadership and their cadres seem out-of-sync with national interest. Their singular positioning shows not only irresponsibility, but also a blatant breach of the 12-Point and 8-Point Understandings. Why are they in such urgency? Is this a newer expression of their old ambition to control state power with guns?
In this context, many political pundits of Nepal prescribe hurried action to meet Maoist demand to dissolve the parliament and form an interim government without first disarming their PLA. Such appeasement is not only naive but also dangerous to the nation.