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Nepal: The Maoist's Grand Strategy - Threat to Democracy

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Message Prithendra Bahadur Khatri

The Maoists waged so called "people's war" in Nepal has cost many lives and damaged unaccountable amount of public and private properties. Following the success of "Janaandolan II", the truce is declared, but, widespread acts of terrorizing, such as killing, kidnapping, intimidation, extortion, atrocities, organized crimes, political violence are common phenomenon even during the post truce period. Such acts are still ongoing and there is no sign of denouncing such acts by the Maoists even when they joined the interim parliament and government.  

The Maoists are politically trying to get big credit of "Janaandolan II". They are doing so because they are getting too much leverage from the "old regime". The Maoists are tend to hide their past military setback by claiming that the outcome of Janaandolan II was only possible due to "fusion" of "people's war" and "mass movement". They have committed unaccountable number of crimes against humanity over the period of 12 years long war, but they haven't spelled out even a single word about their side of wrong doing. Interestingly, majority of mainstream political parties along with civil societies and human rights organizations are also silent on these critical issues. In order to lure the Maoists in to mainstream politics the government gave total amnesty to the Maoists. Score of criminals acting under Maoists cover got political amnesty which resulted culture of impunity in Nepal.  

As the Maoists Supremo, Prachanda, mentioned in one of his recent address that the people's war is not over yet and they will continue to stage the war in different forms until their end state is achieved. Such statement clearly indicates that the Maoist party is not serious about ongoing peace process and present peace arrangements. One can easily draw a conclusion that the Maoists will not be satisfied until their ultimate aim is achieved which is obviously a totalitarian communist regime. Such statement has surely inspired the Maoists cadres at various levels to stage more atrocities and terrorist acts. 

The Maoists, becoming well aware that it is impossible to capture the central power by military means, adopted strategy of political maneuver to pursue their ultimate goals. It was complex for them to sustain the protracted war as they kept on suffered very badly during series of combat operations with the security forces. They were having crisis of manpower shortage, shortage of arms and ammunition and they couldn't attract mass with their outdated political ideology. In one hand, they were becoming very unpopular day by day among the populace, and in other hand, they were having problem to get "outside support" particularly from neighbouring countries. These problems coupled with international pressure finally forced them to surrender politically to seven parties' alliance (SPA). Fluid political situation and conflicting political ideologies and interests of SPA gave the Maoists upper hand in political bargaining. The Maoists found conducive environment to bring the SPA on their own terms and conditions.  

The present political culture is not focused towards fulfilling the people's aspirations and interests but diverted towards addressing the Maoists agendas. The main focus is shifted towards punishing the institution of monarchy and monarchists as the Maoists consider them as prime enemy of their "political grand design". The Maoists is also focused on making the Nepalese Army weaker as the Maoists think that the strong Nepalese army will be a biggest hurdle on their path to achieve their ultimate goal. In the course of weakening the Nepalese Army, the Maoists are trying to disrupt the organizational structure by inducting politically indoctrinated cadres in to National Army with a view to penetrate and destabilize the rank and file of Nepalese Army. They are also spreading false propaganda to damage the credibility of Nepalese Army and its leadership. 

Interestingly, the voices have been raised only to penalize the member of security forces for the atrocities alleged to have been made during the so called "people's war". Very low voices are raised against the Maoists for the unaccountable number of crimes against humanity that they have committed during the same period. It is known to all that the crimes committed by the Maoists are much higher in terms of magnitude, intensity and seriousness. They have even killed their own cadres who are wounded in war, fearing that the security forces will detain them and get information from them. There are many innocent civilians, unarmed security forces, family of security forces members, political activists and government civilian employees who became victim of Maoists brutality.  

Only very few politicians, human rights activists and journalists have shown courage to point out the finger towards the Maoists atrocities. The government is virtually doing nothing to penalize to those who are found guilty during post ceasefire period. The government is probably showing restraints either to please the Maoists or due to weak mechanism to enforce law and order. It is the culture of impunity which has inspired the Maoists to repeatedly commit the crimes. The so called Young Communist League (YCL) (which are unregistered Maoists militants) is formed to confront civilians and other political forces. They are taking law and order in their hand and openly challenging government authorities and Police forces by operating in parallel. If the activities of YCL are not taboo to political activities only then this will certainly create many problems which will damage the system of state affairs. 

There is a need to establish truth commission, tribunal court and peace and reconciliation council to impartially investigate the crimes against humanity and penalize those no matter which organization they belongs to. The mandate given to the UN Mission in Nepal (UNMIN) must be strong enough to bring the justice by ending the culture of impunity. The present mandate given to UNMIN is weak probably due to political nature of mission. Their voice is also not so strong enough to deter the Maoists not to repeat criminal activities and atrocities. 

The political interests of SPAM must not over shadow the rules of law and basic rights of people. The SPA must realize that if the Maoists are not tamed properly then it is imminent that next target of Maoists will be SPA themselves, mainly Nepali Congress and UML. Once the Maoists destroy Monarchy and National Army then it will be easy going for them to grab the central power. They don't consider other political parties including NC and UML as major threats on their path to achieve end state of their grand strategy.

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