Nepal PM Prachanda & FM Baburam being escorted by the Maoist Army
Army will be out of controversy: Nepal Army General Katawal
A fresh row seems to have erupted between the Nepal Army(NA) and the Maoist-led Government of Nepal. The Army has bas been accused of breaching government orders given by the Maoist Defence Minister, Ram Bahadur Thapa “Badal”. Mr. Badal had issued a directive some days ago to halt the fresh recruitments in the NA immediately.
The United Nations’ Mission in Nepal, the UNMIN, too asked for halting the NA recruitment after the Maoist Army Commander accused the NA of breaching the Peace Agreement terms threatening of beginning inductions into the Maoist Army.
However, the NA refuses to halt recruitment arguing that no objection was made in the past when it conducted similar recruitments twice after the Peace Agreement, and even for this time, the present government gave a go ahead permission two months back.
The Nepal Army is perhaps the only institution that has made positive impression after its constructive role in the promulgation & implementation of the republic in Nepal. Of late, it’s always been focusing on its professional integrity under a legitimate government. Hence, the NA certainly can not risk appearing political by publicly going against the directives from the popularly elected government.
It’s is also unnecessary to sensationalize the issues between the Maoist ministers & the Nepal Army officers either. Let no one forget that the Nepal Army has had expressed its dissatisfaction even with the past governments. The NA had refused to go against the Maoist guerillas after the Holleri incident in 2001 despite getting directives from the then PM Girija Prasad Koirala. Similarly, the NA’s reluctance to go against the agitating people during the Mass Movement 2006 was one major reason for persuading King Gyanendra to handover the reign to the political parties.
The political ground reality is that the country can not be further radicalized as the Maoists desire, nor the normal course of historical changes can be reversed. Contrary to what some “external forces” believe, the majority of Nepalis would still like to see the Maoists at the driver’s seat, but they’d also make sure that the driver refrains from getting “revolutionarily” drunk.
The Maoists would the serve the people better if they focused on translating the already achieved political metamorphoses into the everyday life of the commoners – by controlling political & bureaucratic anomalies/corruptions.
And since both the Maoists & the NA have preached a lot, they now need to show through practice.