KATHMANDU, Feb 15: Nepali Congress leader and Special Committee member Ram Sharan Mahat said on Wednesday that his party would not accept any deviation from the standard norms of the Nepal Army and past agreements while integrating the Maoist combatants.
"I hope the army is a highly professional organization and will not compromise on established norms and standards," said Mahat, expressing concern over news reports that the army would accept group integration of Maoist combatants.
There were reportst that Chief of Army Staff Chhatraman Singh Gurung expressed with Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai the army´s readiness to accept bulk integration of the Maoist combatants.
"There will be no compromise on the established standard norms of the army while integrating the Maoist combatants. Even if the standards norms were to be made flexible, such a move must garner consensus at the technical and political level," Mahat further said.
Mahat also said the Maoist combatants can claim any post in the proposed directorate under the Nepal Army (NA)provided they have the required qualifications.
"But given their present qualifications, no combatant can rise above the rank of major," Mahat said.
He also said the NA should first finalize the standard norms and the process of integration and then announce the bridge course for the combatants.
He also warned that any move on the part of the government to influence the army for integration would not be tolerated.