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Dahal, Nepal discuss burning issues

KATHMANDU, FEB 20 - UCPN (Maoist) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal on Sunday discussed the possibility of forming a national consensus government and ways to complete peace and constitution drafting processes.

The Maoist leader reached the residence of Nepal at in the morning and held talks with Nepal on integration of PLA combatants and formation of a national consensus government. "Dahal was flexible on the formation of a national consensus government," said a UML source.

However, both Maoist and UML sources did not elaborate how and when they will replace the current government. Dahal and Nepal discussed the burning political issues at length at a time when a faction of hardliner Maoist leaders has been demanding resignation of Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai and formation of a national consensus government.

Soon after the meeting PM Baburam Bhattarai reportedly telephoned Nepal to inquire about what exactly they discussed in the meeting. During the meeting, Nepal had urged Dahal to integrate PLA fighters into the Nepal Army on the merit basis.

Nepal also called on Dahal to take bold decisions for the completion of peace on time. "Be prepared to integrate them (PLA fighters) even if they do not deserve higher posts than Major in merit," sources quoted Nepal as saying.

In response, Dahal accused the opposition parties of over politicising the integration issue. "You should not be skeptic of the Maoists as we are firm on the peace process. It's time to move ahead with a bold decision," said Dahal in the meeting.

During the meeting, the Maoist supremo reassured Nepal that his party was committed to army integration and asked the other parties to play a constructive role for the same.

He also asked the UML leader to make best use of his past experiences and support the government in completing the peace process. "You have long experience in bridging differences and now you should play a constructive role in completing the peace process," said Dahal.

Posted on: 2012-02-20 04:00