Prachanda seeks to allay world fears about Maoist govt

August 31st, 2008 - 2:28 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Aug 31 (IANS) Nepal’s new Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” Sunday sought to allay the world’s fears about a Maoist-led government, saying it was committed to an economic revolution along with taking the peace process to its conclusion and drafting the first constitution written by the people themselves.”We have three agenda or challenges or opportunities,” Prachanda said on the opening day of an economic summit organised in the capital by the Confederation of Nepalese Industries that sought to project NRS 12,000 as the minimum monthly income of Nepal in future.

“They are: concluding the peace process, writing a new constitution and ushering in economic progress in accordance with people’s aspirations.

“An economic revolution is the key foundation for strengthening the political revolution.”

The former revolutionary admitted that both the Nepali people and the international community harboured hopes and fears about the new Maoist-led government in Nepal.

“But while Nepalis have greater hope and less fear, the international community has more fear and less hope,” he said.

In the 21st century, that had seen rapid progress in science and technology, no country could live in isolation, Prachanda said. With globalisation and liberalization sweeping the world and interconnecting countries, Nepal had to keep pace with the changing times.

His government, once the enemy of capitalism, was aware of the need for rapid economic progress, the former revolutionary said. However, it would have to be guided by national welfare.

“Our new national pledge would be to create a new Nepal,” he said.

Prachanda said that Nepal’s two giant neighbours, China and India, had made immense progress economically.

However, during his visits to both countries where he had met politicians, intellectuals as well as entrepreneurs, he said both the neighbours had realised that as long as Nepal remained poor and racked by instability, the fallout would affect them as well.

“Look at our potential and expand your area of cooperation,” the Maoist chief urged. “… We are richly endowed by nature. We are blessed with Himalayan mountains, rivers and the forests in the Terai. We also have mental, structural and physical capabilities.

“Till we can transform the fear into trust, rapid economic progress would be a difficult task.”

Referring to the 10-year armed war fought by his party in the past, that caused it to be branded as a terrorist party and raised fear about its willingness to lay down arms, Prachanda said the war was triggered by historic reasons.

“It was needed to end feudalism and usher in a social and political change,” he said. “The war was not caused by a wave or deviation.”

However, along with changing Nepal, Prachanda said his party had also changed. While waging the war to establish a communist republic, it had realised the need for multi-party competitive politics to create a “vibrant society”.

Along with a change in its political ideology, the Maoists are now seeking private-public partnership as well as more investment by domestic as well as international investors, wider areas for investment and greater employment opportunities.

Blaming the past political leadership’s “lack of will and vision”, Prachanda admitted his government had limitations but was ready to learn from past deficiencies and errors. It was ready to create a conducive environment for new investment and draw up guidelines.

“Cooperate with our government,” he urged.

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