KATHMANDU, May 26: The three-party meeting over CA term extension ended inconclusively on Wednesday after the Maoists reiterated that they were not in a position to immediately hand over their weapons to the state as demanded by the Nepali Congress and the UML.
After several rounds of meetings held since morning among the leaders of the three major parties failed to yield any reasult,the three top leaders -- Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal, NC President Sushil Koirala and UML Chairman and Prime Minister Jhalanath Khanal -- held a separate meeting at Gokarna resort on the outskirts of Kathmandu, but that meeting also ended inconclusively.
At the meeting, Maoist Chairman Dahal tried to assure NC President Koirala that categorization and segregation of the combatants based on those joining the security forces and those opting for voluntary retirement would automatically begin the weapon handover process and it would get completed with the progress in the peace process. Dahal warned that the NC and UML´s insistence that the Maoists must hand over their weapons before May 28 could derail the peace process.
But NC President Koirala was adamant that the Maoists must hand over all their weapons to the state before May 28, or else there was no point extending the CA term.
"I want to make it absoulutely clear that the NC will not agree to CA term extension without the weapons handover," a leader quoted Koirala as saying. Prime Minister Khanal, however, remained silent during the talks.
The meeting didn´t last very long but they agreed to meet again tomorrow. They are scheduled to hold a meeting at the prime minister´s official residence at Baluwatar at 11 a.m. Thursday.
Several senior leaders of the three parties earlier held a jumbo meeting, where NC and UML leaders complained that there had not been any tangible progress in the ongoing peace process because of the Maoists.
NC leader Dr Ram Sharan Mahat read out the party´s 10-point condition for CA term extension. At the meeting, UML leader KP Oli demanded that the Maoists complete handing over the weapons by May 27, while Madhav Kumar Nepal, former prime minister, said that they could give the Maoists seven days at maximum from the date of an agreement, to hand over the weapons.
According to the leaders, Maoist Chairman Dahal, while reiterating that the Maoists were committed to all the agreements reached in the past, said they had already taken concrete decisions on the peace process, including the mixed modality of integration as suggested by the Nepal Army and deputing joint monitoring team to the cantonments.
The Maoists also argued that there was no need to hand over the weapons as the PLA and the cantonments had already come under the command and control of the Special Committee.
Coming out of the meeting, UML General Secretary Ishwor Pokharel said that each of the parties put forward its views but there wasn´t any progress in the talks.
The Maoists are increasingly feeling the heat as the other major parties have now formed more or less the same stance on the peace process. The Madhes Democratic Front (MDF) and the newly formed MPRF (Republican) have already supported the NC´s stance. At the bilateral meetings held Tuesday afternoon, the NC and the UML also agreed to forge a common stance on the peace process.
The parties didn´t discuss the issue of Prime Minister Khanal´s resignation and power sharing as they were stuck on the issue of peace process. The UML itself has made it clear that its chairman will step down if there is any possibility of forming a national consensus government.