Nepal's much awaited highlevel political mechanism (HPM) finally has constituted, but there is much confusion. It is viewed differently in the national and international arena. Some political pundits look at the mechanism as an important milestone while others see a strategic conspiracy. Major national and internationally stakeholders including the UN conditionally and carefully welcomed the new mechanism, with the hope and belief it will lead to positive outcomes.
Interestingly, the voices of favor and dissent in HPM began on the day of its establishment. Senior leaders from some parties are against the mechanism and see it as a serious conspiracy.
Many people say they do not understand this dramatic development of how the political parties and leaders came so easily to join together on this political mechanism without compromising and building consensus over the conflicting political agendas.
The important issue is that HPM is neither politically-democratically approved, nor is there a clear working strategy. So people are curious to know how such a mechanism will cope with the existing paradoxical scenario where the ruling and opposition parties are being confronted and endlessly conducting political marathons against each other. Frankly speaking, the ruling and opposition parties are not on the right track. All are focused on power-games rather than contributing towards the logical end of the peace process and building the constitution for New Nepal.
The parties and their leaders have forgotten their principal mandates, and they have deviated from the path they committed to. Specifically, peace building through successful implementation of a comprehensive peace accord (CPA) and restructuring the state through constitution building should be the principal goals of the national polity. However, both issues are in limbo and have become matters of lower priority.
I believe what is needed is a clear and visionary roadmap, using HPM, with really positive goals and objectives working towards the peace process and constitution building. Otherwise, it will be understood publicly as a continuation of a strategic conspiracy culture against the existing coalition government.
The mechanism should able to expose clearly how they will handle the issue of Maoist version of civil supremacy, madhesi and other ethnic version of inclusion and federalism, the confused and misguided version of PLA integration and many more contemporary issues that have become issues of mutual face-offs among the parties. In addition, HPM should describe the agreed structure of the cabinet and how they work to address the national agenda and priority.
These are really crucial questions for all Nepalese as well as concerned institutions and agencies, so it must be clarified beforehand to see the HPM as a part of positive effort and commitment for the peace process and constitution building.
Experts illustrate that peace process and constitution writing will not be successes until Nepal gets a multi party coalition government and common political consensus on the aforementioned issues. The peace process and constitution writing may be further paralyzed if even a single political actor is ignored or excluded from both the peace and constitution building processes. Therefore, all parties and political forces should be given equal importance and treated democratically in a rational manner.
In plain view, the peace process should reach almost a logical destination once the cantonment based former Maoist guerrillas are successfully managed in accordance with the letter and spirit of the CPA and Interim Constitution of Nepal (ICN).
The ruling party and opposition both are avoiding the major issues by using various crosscutting power-politics, and switching day by day the public commitments. In addition, in the name of democracy and politics, all of the Nepalese political parties are acting beyond political ethics. The general Public are irritated and fed up with Nepalese political culture, the smaller and bigger all parties believe that criminalized politics, militarized activities and roughshod impunity are the ways to oppose the government while they live in the opposition room.
Nowadays, no political parties look at legacy, legitimacy, rationality, relevancy and utility of their political activities, rather they have a blind desire to capturing the cabinet. In such context, how can Nepalese people expect positive value from HPM without experiencing the forthcoming impacts into practice? The people are in confusion. The HPM has created a huge illusion among the stakeholders of the Nepalese peace and constitution building process.
The international community, specially the UN believe that HPM is a product of continuous efforts of United Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) and also the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon, but it is just a misconception. It is because the HPM was not constituted in accordance with the spirit of diplomatic efforts, peace accord and constitutional provision.
It is sad to say, in many ways, the UNMIN is a failed mission, not able to achieve its even minimum assigned tasks and responsibilities.
It has not done much except to have a nominal role in technical affairs of cantonment management, verification, political marketing and to pay just limited diplomatic courtesy. The UNMIN is observed as an ambiguous agency that raises the situation of confrontation among the major political parties.
One can ask why does the UNMIN still stand, given such failure and low performance? Experts say it is only to respect the UN resolution and to maintain the relationship with UN for future support and continuation of ongoing development process and post conflict affairs of Nepal.