Government forms committee to integrate Maoists into Nepal army

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Kathmandu, Oct 28 (UNI) Nepal government has formed a five-member special committee to look after the integration of the Maoists combatants into Nepal Army under the chairmanship of Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs, Bamdev Gautam.

The integration of Maoists into the national Army has been a contentious issue among the major political parties.

Defence Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa, Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum leader Mohammad Habibullah, and Minister for Peace Janardan Sharma are members of the committee.

One opposition party member will also be in the committee, it is said. Nepali Congress has opposed the integration of the Maoists in bulk saying the politically indoctrinated Maoists should not be included in the Army.

Representative from the Nepali Congress is yet to be appointed, Minister of Science and Technology Ganesh Shah said after the Cabinet meeting that decided the formation of the committee.

There are about 20000 former Maoist fighters living in various United Nations monitored camps across Nepal to be integrated into the Nepal Army.

UNI XC KK RAI1917

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