This view has been re-enforced by those of Deputy PM Oli and other senior members of Nepal’s resurrected Parliament. To this end, the unanimous and official, American, Indian and European endorsement of the Nepalese government’s stance is of immense significance.
The Maoist leadership for its part, has categorically dismissed the idea of decommissioning arms. The Maoists remain open to the idea of their fighting force being monitored by UN observers but de-commissioning arms prior to elections has been termed “unthinkable.”
Furthermore, in return for allowing their fighting force to be placed under the UN’s purview, the Maoist negotiating team has indicated that the national army should also be subject to the same conditions, namely, disarmament. This request of course, has been flatly refused by government officials who cite the legitimacy of the state’s security apparatus as a basis for dismissing the Maoist demand.
There may be several reasons that underlie the predictable Maoist rejection of disarmament.
First, without the threat of force, there is no guarantee that the claim of representing the “people” will hold true. This notion remains especially suspect for a group that has committed or orchestrated numerous documented and undocumented atrocities against the very people it claims unconditional support from.
Second, the issue of disarming has the potential to reinvigorate fissures within the Maoist ranks; it is counterintuitive for a group of hardened fighters (who for years have been led to believe that power comes form the barrel of a gun), to abruptly acquiesce to the reality that their mantra was in fact, a lie.
Third, the Maoist leadership has practical fears such as the increasing likelihood for the SPA to shed its tactical belief in an 8-Party interim government and instead, assert its constitutionally granted powers over Nepal’s legitimate armed forces. In other words, the phobia of the SPA finally waking up and exercising its legal prerogative over the state’s security forces as a bargaining lever, is probably a thought that keeps the Maoists awake at night.
In fact, given the very militarily (and strategically) oriented group they are, the thought of a “betrayal of convenience” by moderates within the SPA’s ranks, probably weighs heavily on the minds of Pushpa Dahal, Baburam Bhattarai and their advisors from RIM (Revolutionary Internationalist Movement).
Fourth, despite claims to the contrary, there are most certainly ties between Indian and Nepali Maoists that exceed ideological similarities. As evidenced (most recently) in a joint press release made by Indian and Nepali Maoists, they appear united by common hatred for American involvement (“imperialist intervention”) in their respective theatres.
Various Maoist organizations in South Asia are also connected by broader concepts such as the CRZ (Compact Revolutionary Zone) and CCOMPOSA (Coordination Committee of Maoist Parties and Organization of South Asia).
Such fraternal ties, cultivated during 12 years of hospitality extended by the Indian Maoists (and tolerated by successive Indian governments), is not likely to pass without a debt of gratitude owed by the Nepali Maoists to their Indian brethren.
With the common perception of an all out victory close at hand, there is bound to be discontent from Indian Maoists at any prospect of their Nepali brothers, decommissioning arms. The same logic applies when considering the extremist position that other like-minded organizations likely maintain. An “option” that is currently “in the money” is not an instrument that the Nepali Maoists’ affiliates will easily walk away from, without attempting to “exercise” their right to “cash in.”