Sunday, November 6, 2011
PLA allots integration quota to 7 divisions
KATHMANDU, Nov 7: The General Staff meeting of People´s Liberation Army (PLA) has finalized the quotas for all its seven divisions on the number of combatants opting for integration and has directed all divisional headquarters to initiate selection procedures accordingly.
PLA divisional commanders of all the seven cantonments told Republica that they have received the instruction from the center about the quota allotted to their respective divisions and said that they will immediately start the selection procedures.
"We will start selecting the combatants opting for the integration with Nepal Army immediately as per the quota we have received," said Mahendra Bahadur Shahi, commander of the Sixth Division.
As per the peace deal signed by major political parties on November 1, the Maoists have to select 6,500 combatants from among the 19,503, according to latest updates. However, sum total of the quotas allotted to the seven divisions by the PLA headquarters for integration and obtained by Republica exceeds the number by 1,140.
Top PLA commanders justified the decision to allot more quotas for PLA integration saying that it is necessary to adopt such policy because some combatants might backtrack from their decision for integration at a later stage.
"Since the possibility of some combatants changing their decision at the last hour is high, we need to select more number than the agreed one," a commander of fifth division was quoting PLA chief Nanda Kishor Pun as saying in a close-door meeting with commanders of the fifth division held in Kathmndu on Sunday. Pun, according the participants of the meeting, however made it clear that the total number of PLA going for integration will not exceed the agreed quota of 6,500 in the end.
According to the commanders who played vital role in reckoning the quotas to each division, the quotas were fixed on the basis of the number of PLA each cantonment was taking care of. Though, the number of registered combatants at the third division was highest, it was given second highest quota because the division also recorded the highest number of desertions.
According to the list of quota allotted to the seven divisions, the seventh division has been given the highest quota of 1,450 followed by third division with 1,425 and sixth division with 1,315 combatants.