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Nepal's Government Criticizes Pact Between Political Parties and Maoist Rebels


Nepal's royal government has criticized a 12-point agreement between major opposition parties and Maoist rebels announced Tuesday, calling it "unholy." Information and Communication Minister Tanka Dhakal said the government is studying the agreement very seriously and would publicly express its opinion only after extensive discussions. The deal is the first between rebels and an alliance of seven political parties since King Gyanendra assumed absolute power on February 1st. But the alliance made clear it will work with the rebels only when they lay down their arms. The rebels said they were ready to end years of violence and join the political mainstream. However, it is unclear how and when the rebels would surrender their arms. According to domestic media, they would be willing to do so only under the U.N. supervision if elections are held.
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