We’re not stupid to raise arms: Gajurel

KATHMANDU, Sept 27: Allaying concerns raised from various quarters, the newly-formed CPN-Maoist on Thursday said they do not have any immediate plans to launch an armed insurgency.

At an interaction held with diplomatic envoys from various countries based in Kathmandu to apprise them of the latest political situation and the party´s position on various issues, CPN-Maoist Vice-chairman CP Gajurel said an armed struggled would be their last resort.

Gajurel said they will try to press their 70-point charter of demands, which they submitted recently to Prime Minister Dr Baburam Bhattarai, through peaceful means. “Armed struggle is not the choice. It is the last resort. We are not stupid to raise arms [immediately],” he said, adding, however, that they may do so if peaceful forms of struggle to press their demands were not heeded.

Envoys and representatives from 18 various countries including Australia, the European Union, Germany, North Korea, South Korea, Norway, Russia, Israel, Finland, China, Pakistan, India and the US were present at the interaction.

Gajurel, whose party recently defected from the UCPN (Maoist), mentioned that they were compelled to raise arms in 1996 after their 40-point demand was not met despite a series of peaceful protests.

Arguing that the current government led by Baburam Bhattarai can neither hold elections nor forge a national consensus with other parties, Gajurel said they decided to join hands with the opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress and CPN-UML, to oust Bhattarai from government.

“The new national consensus government will announce the date for elections after holding consultations with those parties also that may choose to stay out of the government,” he said, adding that his party would join such a government.

He further said that the ruling parties´ stance that all contentious issues including the choice of next prime minister be settled before Bhattarai steps down was unjustifiable. “The name of the prime minister was not announced first in the past. That is not going to happen this time either,” he said, adding: “We will decide who will be the new prime minister when the time is ripe. It is not good to open the umbrella before it actually starts raining.”

On a question posed by the envoys present at the interaction, Gajurel said that other opposition parties also supported their 70-point charter of demands, and these were mainly issues related to national sovereignty, including the BIPPA agreement with India and the government´s preparations to hand over to foreign management Tribhuvan International Airport and 14 other airports.

The 70-point demand they submitted to Prime Minister Bhattarai was also given to the envoys present.

Asked if they had relinquished their demand for a round-table conference to resolve the current political deadlock, Gajurel said they still believed that a round-table comprising all political forces in the country was the only way to resolve the deadlock. “There is still a possibility of holding a round-table conference to resolve the deadlock,” he added.


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