Nepal ex-PM appeals to Maoists to join political mainstream
KATHMANDU, Sunday (AFP) - Nepal's veteran former prime minister G.P.
Koirala said he has appealed to Maoist rebels to ally with mainstream
parties to restore democracy in the insurgency-racked nation.
"I asked them to come to the political mainstream and I told them
your future is only in mainstream politics," Koirala told reporters at
the airport on his return to Kathmandu from a nine-day private visit to
Koirala, who leads the Nepali Congress, Nepal's largest democratic
party, said he spoke to the Maoists by telephone. He did not say who he
talked to or when the conversation took place.
Koirala, who has served as premier of the Himalayan kingdom four
times, made no comment on a statement by a Nepalese communist leader
Friday that the rebels were willing to accept multi-party democracy and
give up their armed struggle which has claimed more than 12,000 lives
Madhav Kumar Nepal, head of the Communist Party of Nepal-UML, told
reporters in New Delhi where he said he was on a private visit that the
Maoists had also dropped their demand for a one-party state at a meeting
several weeks ago.
A report in The Indian Express newspaper said the Maoists were
willing to disarm under United Nations auspices.
The Maoists had no comment Saturday on the remarks by the leader of
the Communist Party of Nepal-UML, part of the coalition government
sacked by Gyanendra. Analysts, however, said a tie-up between the
Maoists and political parties could be on the cards.