Nepal: Muslim leaders form alliance to press demands
KATHMANDU, April 17: In a bid to exert pressure to ensure constitutional guarantee for Muslim rights and identity, Muslim organisations and the Muslim wings of various political parties have formed a broad alliance named National Muslim Struggle Alliance (NMSA).
The alliance formed on Monday comprises a total of 31 organizations including Rastriya Muslim Mukti Morcha of UCPN (Maoist), Nepal Muslim Sangha of Nepali Congress, Muslim Itehad Sangathan of CPN-UML and Islamic Sangha Nepal.
Leaders associated with the alliance on Tuesday handed over a memorandum to Constituent Assembly (CA) Chairman Subash Chandra Nembang, demanding incorporation of their concerns in the new constitution.
According to Secretary of the newly formed alliance Rahamatullah Miyan, they have demanded that the Muslim community be listed as having a distinct identity and asked for the formation of a constitutional Muslim commission to address their needs.
Similarly, the alliance has demanded restructuring of the state in such a way that it ensures Muslims their identity. They have, likewise, pressed for constitutional provisions that provide guarantees of proportionate representation for Muslims at all levels of the state including in the fields of health, education and security agencies.
It has also demanded a mixed electoral system under the new constitution and equal treatment for the Muslim community based on secularism and affirmative action as with all other groups entitled to such privileges and reservations.
While submitting the memorandum to Nembang, the Muslim leaders warned of ´decisive´ agitations if their concerns are not addressed in the new constitution.
In response, Nembang assured the Muslim leaders that their demands would be addressed in the new constitution.
“I will put forth the concerns raised by you all at the forthcoming meeting of the Constitutional Committee,” Miyan quoted Nembang as saying at the meeting.
According to leaders associated with the alliance, they are planning to picket the district administration offices (CDOs) and call a partial transport strike across the country.
Click on image for larger view