When I got up, I went directly to the verandah to find the newspaper this morning. To know what happened to the peace talks last night. There was a bundle of old newspapers only. I asked Baba if he saw where the new issue of Kantipur was. He said the newsboy didn’t come today also. It’s been a week, he hasn’t dropped papers. (It’s been a week he hasn’t come.) Probably, he is ill or he has some other important things to do. Exams? May be he has some.
(Actually, earlier he used to drop complimentary copies of THT and AP when I was a THT journo. I have never seen him, and he doesn’t know me. However, he takes Dai for “Sir,” and always deals with him. When I gave up the job, for some months the papers mistakenly came for free. Later subscribed the Kantipur because except me none reads THT and AP is but a rag.)
Then I tuned the television. There was no news. But the ticker (I forgot the common name for the news-bar) in some news channels made me believe that there was some sort of agreement between and betwixt the seven political parties and their alliance and the Maoist rebels. Good!
Though I was getting late, I browsed the Internet then. In http://ekantipur.com, there was this BREAKING NEWS:
Govt, Maoist reach historic agreement
By Suresh Nath Neupane
KATHMANDU, Nov 8 – The seven-party alliance (SPA) and Maoist rebels have reached a historic agreement, with both the sides agreeing to form an interim government by December 1 to end decade-old insurgency.
The summit talks held between the SPA and Maoist leaders at Pri Minister Girija Prasad Koirala’s official residence at Baluwatar on Tuesday night reached a 15-point agreement.
As per the agreement, future of the monarchy will be decided by the first meeting of the constituent assembly, the interim government containing Maoist will be formed by December 1, the present House of Representatives will be dissolved by November 26 and new constitution will be announced by the date, Maoist People’s Liberation Army will be kept in 7 divisions and 21 brigades across the country by November 21.An interim legislature containing 330 members will be formed.
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Simultaneously, I had opened, http://thehimalayantimes.com. I clicked this one and read in haste.
Born rebel a sheet anchor
Damaru Lal Bhandari
Kathmandu, November 7:
Ever thought for a moment that a born rebel like Prachanda could be depended upon to preside over a government show much before a peace deal had been signed? If no, kick yourself right now.
For, Prachanda — who was forced by circumstances to play a role of a sheet anchor today in the absence of Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala — was not only fully depended upon by the entire assembly but also executed the role remarkably well.
But don’t think it all came about effortlessly. Bimalendra Nidhi — the General Secretary of the NC(D) — said: “It came largely because everyone demonstrated a sense of duty towards a cause.” While UML chief Madhav Kumar Nepal made it a point to note down a note of dissent, NC (D) boss Sher Bahadur Deuba made light of his grudges by departing from the scene saying : I will tell the press what I have to.
Well did anyone ask how Prachanda played the role of a sheet-anchor in the nerve-wracking episode today? The word is the born rebel — who is now reportedly on cloud nine following the deal — was left to guide the proceedings since the PM had retired well before 7 pm. (NC Veep Sushil Koirala deputised for the latter.)
Prachanda might not admit he believes in godhead being a famous Communist but he was found today to be professing faith in stars too. His faith in astrology was exposed at just about 12.20 when he quickly backed the idea when Bal Krishna Dahal — Personal Assistant to Koirala — said an astrologer had prescribed Kartik 22 as the best day to sign the deal.
While the entire assembly was very much eager to have Prachanda sign, the Maoist supremo was irrepressible. “Look how I have anchored the show being a born rebel. This is something which can be achieved only if one maintains his cool,” Prachanda was heard saying amid a cacophony of voices.
After all, the long awaited moment came. Time to be happy. But not to forget the crucial challenges regarding the implementation of the pact!