Is Nepal Still Unsafe Because of Maoists?

After waging civil war for 10 years, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) became the first largest political party in Nepal, having held 220 out of 575 elected seats in the First Constituent Assembly. Maoist leaders Pushpa Kamal Dahal and Dr. Baburam Bhattarai led the government of Nepal along with numbers of leaders as ministers.

Presently, Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) stands as the third largest party of Nepal, securing 85 seats in the Second Constituent Assembly. Maoists are major partner of, the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), Chairman KP Sharma Oli-led coalition government. Maoist leader and the former commander of the People's Liberation Army, Nanda Bahadur Pun, is the Vice-President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and UCPN-Maoist lawmaker, Onsari Gharti Magar, is first woman speaker of the active parliament.

The U.S. Department of State has already removed the UCPN-Maoist from the U.S. list of terrorist organizations, on grounds the Maoist group has abandoned its militant past. The Maoists are "no longer engaged in terrorist activity," the State Department said in a written statement. After a thorough review, the Department had determined that the UCPN-Maoist is no longer engaged in terrorist activity that threatens the security of U.S. nationals or U.S. foreign policy.

However, many Nepalese are still seeking political asylum in the USA claiming a credible fear of persecution from Maoist. In 2013, majority of persons granted either affirmative or defensive asylum were from China (34 percent), Egypt (14 percent), Ethiopia (3.5 percent), Nepal (3.4 percent), and Syria (3.2 percent). Nationals of these five countries accounted for over half of total persons granted for asylum in the USA. Nepal was on the infamous top five in 2012 as well. In 2012, the leading countries of nationality of persons granted either affirmative or defensive asylum were China (34 percent), Egypt (9.8 percent), Ethiopia (3.8 percent), Venezuela (3.7 percent), and Nepal (3.3 percent). Nepal has been on the top 10 for many years, according to the U.S. Department of Justice Executive Office for Immigration Review. For the period FY 2010 to FY 2014, seven of the top 10 countries from which aliens were granted asylum were represented: China, Ethiopia, Nepal, India, Eritrea, Egypt, and the Soviet Union.

Nepalese in the USA claiming allegiance to almost every political shade have sought asylum. In the early 1990s, some people claimed they were unsafe after the restoration of democracy in Nepal. Members of Nepali congress, UML and other political parties claimed they were unsafe because of Maoist during civil war in Nepal.

Although, now many Nepalese asylum seekers in the USA are claiming they are unsafe because of armed groups in Terai region of Nepal. Some are claiming Hindu extremist groups have persecuted them. Most of the stories are the same.

Among Nepalese seeking asylum in the US, most claim, they cannot return back to Nepal because of UCPN-Maoist. But there is neither civil war in Nepal nor are Maoists persecuting Nepali nationals on the basis of political opinion. During civil war, they attacked members of minority political parties, minority ethnic groups, journalists, and other armed militias. They also had threatened many businesses and wealthy people in an attempt to raise money. Moreover, now this situation is over. Nepal is not unsafe because of Maoists.

testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks.