Nepal's new Prime Minister to revive India-first tradition

Discussion in 'Subcontinent & Central Asia' started by Rage, Jun 14, 2009.

  1. Rage

    Rage DFI TEAM Stars and Ambassadors

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    Nepal's new Prime Minister to revive India-first tradition

    SANKARSHAN THAKUR

    [​IMG]

    New Delhi, June 10: Nepal’s new Prime Minister Madhav Nepal is set to restore the long-held convention of making India the head of government’s first foreign port of call when he visits New Delhi in the last week of June.

    His predecessor and Nepal’s first Maoist Prime Minister, Prachanda, had broken tradition — and ruffled Indian feathers — by choosing Beijing as his first foreign destination.

    The dates of Nepal’s visit are yet to be finalised but sources said he was likely to make a two-day visit towards the end of June. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is learnt to have personally invited Nepal for an official visit soon after he was elected.

    But beyond the symbolic restoration of the “India first” convention, Delhi must continue to mull the reality of enhanced anti-India sentiment in Nepal, and ways of neutralising it. Indeed, Nepal’s visit may only serve to churn fresh India-phobia in influential sections of Nepali polity and society which blame Delhi for the crisis that led to Prachanda’s resignation in early May.

    Prachanda quit after a protracted wrangle over the chief of the Nepal army, Rukumangad Katawal, whom he wanted to sack presumably in preparation for slowly handing over reins of the armed forces to Maoist commanders. It is well known that Delhi was not only strongly opposed to Katawal’s removal but actively campaigned against it as well.

    India’s ambassador in Kathmandu, Rakesh Sood, met Prachanda more than half a dozen times in the run-up to the crisis, and lobbied hard against Katawal’s ouster. Obdurate on the issue, Prachanda chose to quit office and blamed “interventionist foreign powers” for the political crisis that ensued.

    Prachanda’s close associate and Maoist ideologue, Baburam Bhattarai, went a step forward and named India, especially “Delhi’s bureaucratic class”, as responsible for toppling the government. In later statements, Prachanda himself blamed Indian interference and emphasised the need to “redefine India-Nepal ties”.

    Delhi believes that Madhav Nepal has brought back a more friendly and convivial regime, but in Nepal itself, the new government is widely seen as a “sell-out” to Indian interests and intervention. It is a bit of an open secret in Kathmandu’s political circles that Nepal could not have become Prime Minister without covert canvassing by India among non-Maoist political parties.

    It took more than a fortnight to convince the Nepali Congress (NC) and Terai-based groups like the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum (MJF) to support Nepal, who belongs to the United Marxist-Leninist (UML) party, a middle-of-the-road communist outfit routed in the 2008 elections. Nepal too was among the defeated, but recovered enough political ground subsequently to become the consensus choice of non-Maoist groups.

    But having become Prime Minister, Nepal’s problems haven’t eased. Two weeks after taking over, he is struggling to meet contrary demands from the NC and the MJF and is yet to fully constitute his government. The Maoists, on the other hand, have returned to the streets and are giving every indication they will make functioning tough. Especially if Madhav Nepal shows signs of leaning towards India.

    They have obstructed the House, they are calling bandhs and chakka jams in Kathmandu and various other parts of the country, they have made it known they will not take kindly to “foreign powers insulting the verdict of the people”.

    Even so, Nepal’s India visit will be critical to him and to the future of the peace process currently unspooling in the Himalayan nation. He is bound to seek continued support and reassurance in trying to run his government and reconcile the contradictions within.

    The two sides will also discuss how to deal with the intransigent Maoists and get the process of giving Nepal a new republican constitution back on track. Given the current Maoist anger against India, and those it sees as having “sold out” to India, it may be tough to get them to co-operate with the business of the Constituent Assembly.

    The tough issue facing Madhav Nepal today is whether to renegotiate with the former rebels or adopt a more hardline stand and crack down if they resort to violence. The Nepali army is believed to have a bias for the latter option. But that may have its own detrimental consequences for the fragile political peace in Nepal.


    The Telegraph - Calcutta (Kolkata) | Nation | Nepal PM to revive India-first tradition
     
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  3. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    You know if RAW had any part in removal of Prachanda , I'd say we need to increase their funding.
     
  4. Pintu

    Pintu New Member

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    Thanks and Regards Rage for posting such a nice article, that is great to read , however, Nepal's problem lies in itself and Maoists who came into the power by means of Democratic Election though could not garner absolute majority however should not forget that the key post holders of the Nepalese Constitution has his or her role to play , as per present system goes President is the constitutional in charge of the Armed Forces and he has the power to reject or accept PM's demand of removal of Chief of the Army staff, there is simply no excuse for PM to resign protesting it and throw the country which was just in its infancy in Democracy into the darkness of uncertainty, and the acts of violent protests made by the Maoists with the arrogant view of removal of President and Chief of the Army staff only strengthen the uncertainty of Nepal's democratic future, and if Democratic Future of Nepal sealed by coup by Army (though not desirable and I hope for the democratic solution) ex Nepalese PM should not or can not avoid responsibility.

    However, as it is good for India's point of view that new Nepal PM would revive the old policy of 'India First' convention but we should be more careful dealing with the whole issue, and also to make sure that Kathmandu should not become another backyard for PRC.

    Regards
     
  5. 1.44

    1.44 Member of The Month SEPTEMBER 2009 Senior Member

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    Never could have believed it when the Maoists said they were joining the government.Total China allies.
    I'd guess the PM was waiting to see what direction Prachanda took in his foreign policy before ordering RAW to intervene(If RAW did intervene that is:)).Anyway Thumbs up:113:
    Good article
     
  6. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Where did you get your information that RAW was behind the events in Nepal?
     
  7. luckyy

    luckyy Regular Member

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    traditionly indian govts opts for conventional ways to keep country like nepal etc in their influence.....

    india should learn from US how to do this in most efficient way..
     
  8. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    Now we need to prop up the current coalition government with both money and support and make sure they don't drift toward China again... and, we need to do it in a covert way so as not to make the Nepalese people think that we're interfering...
     
  9. LETHALFORCE

    LETHALFORCE Moderator Moderator

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    a good move might be to move some plants to nepal like TATA's proposed Burma car plant.
     
  10. luckyy

    luckyy Regular Member

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    the best way is to keep their militry dependent on us , just like the US do with their allies
     
  11. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    A good suggestion, but I suspect TATA would not be willing to reconsider, but we might push other private players to set up plants in Nepal... a stroke of genius LF !!!!
     
  12. luckyy

    luckyy Regular Member

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    the best way is to keep their militry dependent on us , just like the US do with their allies.

    dependent in militry not only means to give them the weapons but make then came to us for their service and maintanence ..
     
  13. EnlightenedMonk

    EnlightenedMonk Member of The Month JULY 2009 Senior Member

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    I think we already do that for most weapons systems... For even guns like INSAS I suspect they are fully dependent on us, and it doesn't seem like they mind...
     
  14. luckyy

    luckyy Regular Member

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    and we should let them buy weapons from china too.

    it will be eye openner for them ..

    as far i know , chines won't give weapons for free , and their systems are of bad qualiy and start malfunctioning after few days..
     
  15. Antimony

    Antimony Regular Member

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    I think we need to stop talking about what "we" would need to do in Nepal - prop up their government, make their military dependent on ours, let them do this, make them do that etc. etc.

    Such kind of talk, rightly, turns off the Nepalese people.

    We should extend our hand in support of the Nepalese government just as one does for a friendly neighbour, without strings. Cross border economic activity would be a very good thing. I am sure some of our manufacturing companies may find it efficient to establish operations there.

    And by the way, anyone/ any agency that needs to work away from the limelight to further our mutual interests is probably already doing so without a lot of ballyhoo:wink:
     

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