Sunday, 11 April, 2021

Towards Lasting Peace


Despite the Supreme Court's recent verdict to reinstate the House of Representatives (HoR), Nepal has been reeling from political instability, with a stark division within the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). However, there is the light at the end of the tunnel as the reinstated House has convened. The parliament has now to carry on its vital responsibility of settling the ongoing political impasse, thereby paving the way for stability, peace and development.
Even amid such fluid political situation, the country has made an important achievement by bringing the outlawed outfit, led by Netra Bikram Chand 'Biplav,' into mainstream peaceful politics. Last week, the government and the Biplav-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) inked a three-point agreement. As per the deal reached between the two sides, the CPN shall carry out its activities through peaceful means and resolve political issues through talks. The government has lifted a ban imposed on the party and released all its cadres and leaders. It has also dropped cases filed against them. However, the outfit has yet to hand over the arms and weapons to the government.
Two years back, the government had banned the outfit as it got involved in illegal activities like arson, bomb blasts, and vandalism. Its cadres also murdered a school teacher in a rural part of Morang district about three months ago. In retaliation against the group’s violent attacks and bombings, the government also intensified its crackdown on it.
Being an offshoot of the erstwhile CPN-Maoist Centre, the underground outfit was carrying out destructive activities from the beginning. Although the group did not carry much political weight in national politics, its violent acts created a sense of terror among the common people, politicians, bureaucrats and security personnel. Foreign investors as well as tourists were terrified by the group. The outfit’s activities, including the training and grooming of militia, had begun posing a serious threat to the country’s internal security. Anyway, the renunciation of violence by the group is a welcome step.
With this move, Nepal has entered a peaceful era. This has developed a lot of confidence among the business community across the country. Business entrepreneurs are hopeful that the signing of the deal with the rebel group could help the nation move ahead on the path of economic development. As the agreement can also contribute to creating a more investment-friendly climate within the country, it will help boost industrial production and foreign trade.
About two years before, the secessionist group, led by CK Raut, had also joined the mainstream politics. The group had been demanding an independent Madhes state. Signing an eleven-point pact with the government, Raut had vowed to honour the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country.
With the establishment of stability and durable peace, the tourism industry is expected to revive in the days ahead. Over the past year, this sensitive sector has suffered a great setback due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The country has recorded a sharp drop in tourist arrivals as well as incomes from tourism. Thousands of people involved in this sector have already become jobless.
The country is sure to see the resurgence of the economic activities as the radical group has come to peace process and the existing global public health crisis has subsided. It is the right time for all the political forces to work together for forwarding the process of nation building.