Maoist Center using conflict-era cases as bargaining chip: Minister

Published On: July 21, 2016 03:30 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, July 21: Minister for Law and Justice Agni Kharel has alleged the CPN (Maoist Center) of using cases related to armed-conflict for laying claim to power rather than being serious about settling them in a proper way.

At a press conference organized at the ministry on Wednesday, Minister Kharel said that his month-long attempts to amend the Commission for Investigation on Enforced Disappeared Persons (CIEDP) and Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) Acts went in vain because of Maoist reluctance.

"I challenge the top leaders of the Maoist Center to stand with me and come clean about who is behind the delay in settling the remaining tasks of the peace process. For a month, I met all top leaders of the party but every time they replied they will discuss the issue within the party," said Kharel.

"I have realized that the Maoist Center is not ready to complete the remaining tasks of peace process. Instead, they are using the whole issue as a bargaining chip to lay their claim to power," he added.

Minister Kharel also alleged Shakti Basnet, the Maoist leader who was Minister for Home Affairs until Maoist Center withdrew the support to the government, of being reluctant to move forward the bills related to transitional justice--mainly because propose criminalization of enforced disappearance and torture.

Secretary at the Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, Tek Prasad Dhungana, informed that the ministry is entitled to initiate the amendment on the CIEDP and the TRC Acts and the concerned ministry is yet to forward it to the Ministry of Law and Justice.

During the press conference, Minister Kharel claimed that the ministry has set a calendar and priority list to draft new acts for implementing the new constitution. He said that the ministry had listed 71 bills as the most urgent one and claimed that among them 35 bills have been already drafted by it.

"Some bills are already in the parliament while some are at the cabinet. We have completed drafting 35 bills and other 38 bills are being discussed at ministry-level," said Kharel.

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