KATHMANDU, April 15: Besides the formal 7-point deal on the technical issues related to PLA’s integration agreed in the Special Committee on Saturday, the top leaders have also reached some informal understandings.
According to a highly placed source privy to the understandings, one PLA commander will get the post of colonel in the Nepal Army and two PLA commanders will become lieutenant colonels.
The leaders have also agreed that the PLA commander who will become the colonel in the national army and lead the Maoist combatants will be at least 45-year old. This is an average age of colonels in the Nepal Army.
The source said that Maoist Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal intitally wanted Dhan Bahadur Maski Magar, who is among his trusted men in the PLA and currently leads PLA’s Third Division based in Shaktikhor, Chitwan, to lead the PLA men opting for integration.
But since he is just 35-year old, the NC and UML leaders opposed his name. Chairman Dahal then floated name of Santu Darai, who currently leads PLA’s Seventh Division based in Kailali, to the post of colonel. Darai, 45, once led Chairman Dahal’s security team and is the seniormost division commanders in the PLA.
The leaders have also agreed that there will be a concession on the level of education in the case of some of the Maoist commanders. As an exception, the current level of education of these commanders will be accepted though the 7-point deal signed on November 1 categorically says that the education of the combatants at the time of joining the PLA will be considered for integration.