| June 27, 2019

Govt forms political committee on boundary disputes

KATHMANDU, Feb 18: The government on Thursday night formed a political committee to resolve the disputes over provincial demarcations under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa.

A cabinet meeting held in the late evening took the decision to constitute an 11-member political body to recommend solutions for resolving the disputes on provincial boundaries.

“Today's cabinet meeting has decided to constitute the body which will be given full shape once the prime minister returns home from India visit,” Education Minister Girirajmani Pokharel told Republica. “We have decided to select its members later with the view to incorporate representatives from agitating Madhesi parties as well.”

He also informed that the committee is mandated to prepare its report and suggest recommendations within three months after it gets full shape.

According to Minister for General Administration Rekha Sharma, the political committee will formulate it Terms of Reference (ToR) on its own. Defining the ToR has remained major bone of contention with the agitating Madhesi parties.

The cabinet decision has come a day before Prime Minister KP Sharam Oli is scheduled to leave for an official visit to India as he had earlier committed that the government would form the political body prior to his visit.

Leaders from major political parties will hold dialogues with the agitating parties to include them in the committee.

Prime Minister Oli had convened a cabinet meeting earlier in the morning to form the committee, but the meeting decided to wait for its formation till the evening so that an understanding with the agitating United Democratic Madhesi Front (UDMF) could be reached with regard to forming the body with their participation.
During a press briefing organized at the Prime Minister's Office in the afternoon, Prime Minister Oli also said “We didn't form the committee in the cabinet earlier today but rather decided to wait till the evening as we wanted to constitute the committee in consensus with the agitating parties as well.”

Earlier, the big three--Nepali Congress (NC), CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist)-- and the constituent parties of the agitating UDMF had agreed to form a high-level political committee to suggest a solution for the demarcation dispute within three months of its formation.