After systematically attacking the most of the government institutions the Maoist led government started attack against Nepali Army. The recruitment row, retirement of brigadier generals of Nepal Army, participation of Maoist combatants in the 5th National Games at the eleventh hour are some of the features of the systematic attack of Maoist government against the Army.
Nepali Army followed the democratic transition and has been expressing its commitment towards democratic rule and civilian command but the political parties mostly the Maoists are trying to demoralize the Army since the very beginning of their entry into peaceful politics. The Maoists came to the political mainstream with the conclusion that they could not be able to defend then Royal Nepalese Army, whose commitment has been appreciated at the international level as well. Maoists are trying to impose their totalitarian rule and systematically weakening the state organs so that they will reach into their ultimate goal. Though the Nepali Army cooperated for the historical transformation of the country, Maoists awarded them with the demoralizing activities and insult. Though it could be the Maoist chairperson Prachanda, Defense Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa or Dr. Babu Ram Bhattrai, all are actively engaged in demoralizing the army. Just few days after senior Maoist ministers of the incumbent government Dr. Bhattrai and Badal appreciated the effort of Nepali Army constructing roads in hilly districts of the Mid-Western Region and said that they were ready to be the guardian of the Nepali Army the Army Chief get the award of clarification letter aimed at his ouster. Maoists tried to demoralize the army before they joined the government. Facts developed from the success of April movement of 2006 shows that the Nepal Army is moving towards democratic path, so any attempt aimed towards demoralizing the army.
Rather than solving the internal dispute between the Army and the Defense Ministry the Maoist minister took the issue to the public. The Minister lacked morality to resign from the post if the Army did not abide by his orders. The vested interest of the Maoist is that they want to demoralize the army and try to appoint their sympathizer for the post of Chief of the Army Staff so that they will incorporate their politically indoctrinated combatants into Nepali Army and systematically impose totalitarian system in the country as Katawal strongly stood in favour of professionalism of Nepali Army and vowed to free the national army from any ideology of any ism. It is not the issue of ouster of Katawal or other; it's the issue of systematic attack at the state organs. The Maoist cadres took to the street against judiciary and senior Maoist leaders gave critical remarks against judiciary when the Supreme Court, the apex judicial body of the country, gave a verdict which is not in their interest. The Maoist led government called back all the ambassadors appointed by the previous government on the basis of political interest. Maoist sympathizers are getting lucrative portfolios in the government institutions. If the Maoist is not attacking in the institution of Army, it should not take any step that will deepen rift between the Army and the government. As the tenure of incumbent CoAS is due to expire after three months the decision of the Maoist led government seems hasty. As the CoAS during his written reply of the clarification sought by the government clearly mentioned that the Army will always follow the civilian command and will remain committed towards people and the democracy, the government should not further complicate the issue.
The role of UML as always remained double standard in this issue as well. The UML remained useless for the sake of people and country when the country has been passing through critical juncture. UML has the tendency of not leaving the government once it reached into the helm of power and UML leaders could do anything for the sake of power, the coalition formed by UML during the election of President and Prime Minister is the proof of these happenings. UML could not leave the government despite getting clear hints that the then King Gyanendra is sacking the coalition government led by Sher Bahadur Deuwa before the royal takeover. The role of UML remained double-standard during the direct rule of the King as sometimes Madhav Kumar Nepal went to the royal palace to submit application for the post of Prime Minister and sometime it took a childish decision. Maoists have betrayed the UML during the election of the President but UML could not learn any lesson from the history and joined hands with the Maoists. UML is also supporting the Maoists during the case of Army Chief which will be counterproductive to them. UML failed to understand that Maoists are hatching conspiracy against the democracy in the name of democracy and UML could also fall prey of their conspiracy but they are not giving proper attention to the fact. Maoists have been adopting the 'Use and Throw policy' so they may be thrown from the government once the interest of the Maoist is served. Some Maoist leaders in the previous days publicly warned UML to leave the job. It's a time for Maoists and the UML to reconsider their role as due to national and international situation they may not be able to achieve their goal. Maoist may not be able to impose their totalitarianism as assistance of international community is a must for the country like Nepal and international community could not support such system. It's a time for the CPN UML to show political maturity and prove that the party is doing at least something for the sake of country and people. If the Maoists did not act responsibly, the country will move towards collusion course.
[Nepal based freelance journalist Baidya contributes on contemporary issues of Nepal and can be reached at email@example.com]
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