Nepal PM says no consensus without fixing number of combatants for integration

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Kathmandu, May 19 (ANI): Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal has said there can be no consensus without fixing the number of Maoist former combatants into the army and other security agencies.

"Going for integration without determining the number to be integrated will invite further problems, Nepalnews quoted him as, saying.

"There are so many armed groups. What happens if all of them demand integration of their combatants into the army," Nepal said.

"If we accept the Maoist demand for bulk integration, one phase of conflict will end, but another conflict (with other armed groups) will begin," he added.

Meanwhile, Nepali Congress leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula has assured that the Constituent Assembly will be extended.

He revealed that all political parties have already agreed to extend the term of the Constituent Assembly's term and expressed confidence that the Maoists too will eventually agree on the same.

Sitaula, however, admitted that the political parties had during the last two years spent their time in disagreement rather than forging consensus among themselves for timely Constitution drafting, Nepalnews reports.

Minister for Information and Communication Shanker Pokharel has claimed that there is no obligation to promulgate the Constitution within May 28 deadline as the people have not given such a mandate.

"The political parties agreed on a two year time period for Constitution drafting after reaching a political consensus and that it was not a mandate from the people, he added.

He further said that if the interim Constitution doesn't get amended by May 28, only Constituent Assembly will be rendered inactive but the legislature-parliament will continue to function," he said. (ANI)

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