The recent ?peace pact? between Nepal Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala and Maoist leader Prachanda appears to have been brokered by unseen actors, with the active connivance of the Sonia Gandhi-led UPA regime, which has been supremely unconcerned about the deteriorating security environment in India'sneighbourhood since its ascension.
As a result, the Christian rebel, Prachanda, seems set to inveigle himself into the interim government, after a dubious arms surrender. This will give his Maoist guerrillas an undue advantage during elections for the proposed new constituent assembly and referendum on whether Nepal should continue to have a king. This is a scandalous development since it is well known that the rented crowds that forced the king to revive Parliament last April do not reflect public sentiment in the country, and that Prachanda and his supporters may get barely 25 percent of the vote if the playing field is not tilted in their favour through premature participation in government. Clearly Shri Koirala, who once had deep reservations about the Maoists and their arms surrender under UN auspices, and who wishes the monarchy to continue in the interests of the stability of the nation, has been arm-twisted by anti-Nepal forces.
India'sdecision to accept UN supervision of arms surrender by Prachanda'sguerrillas is inexplicable unless one factors in the Italian Christian origins of Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who is suborning the national interest to serve a Western agenda in the region. This alone explains New Delhi'ssilence at Pakistan'semergence as a major player in Sri Lanka. As for the UN, its despicable partiality during the proposed plebiscite in Kashmir in the early fifties (when Western officials were found shifting border posts in favour of Pakistan, which forced Pt. Nehru to cancel the plebiscite) is well-known. If India now trusts UN in an area critical to its security, when UN is known to be biased in favour of Western interests, this can only mean that a non-Indian perspective is guiding our foreign policy.
Reports coming out of Nepal suggest that an increasing number of people do not favour an end to the monarchy. Hence the sudden inclusion of Prachanda in the government and the legitimisation of his political agenda, suggests a larger pincer movement against India. It is no secret that Nepal is the staging post for many anti-India activities launched in concert with Bangladesh at the instance of Pakistan'sISI. New Delhi can hardly be oblivious of these developments.
The humiliation of the king and the erosion of his powers and privileges bodes ill for India. That there is an evangelical hand in the operations can be seen from the fact that an open assault has begun upon Nepal'sancient culture and religious traditions. The monarch, revered as the living incarnation of Vishnu, is being projected as venal and corrupt, and the famous Buddhist Kumari tradition is being attacked as a violation of child rights! As if these are the most burning issues in Nepal today!
It bears noting that the Army is unhappy that the interim government has exceeded itself by stripping off the king'sposition as supreme commander of Nepal'sarmed forces and other institutions. This can be gauged from the fact that despite a clear order from the Seven Party Alliance ordering the army not to officially celebrate the King'sbirthday, senior army officers organised a 21-gun salute to the king and a special function at army headquarters to mark the occasion. This suggests that despite its current demoralisation, the Army may be forced to play a larger role if the Maoist arms surrender turns out to be phoney, as is expected.
This is because the Maoist cadres are extremely comfortable with arms. Reports from the countryside are replete with accounts of cadres involved in the ?business? of extortion, abduction, intimidation and ?people'sjustice.? The premature release of 1200 cadres from prison and the announcement that Nepal is a secular state and not a ?Hindu kingdom? reinforce the belief that the Maoists will retain a sizeable chunk of their arms.
The fact is that large sections of Nepalese society view the Maoist insurgency as one of the biggest problems facing the country. Many observers feel that in a fair election, the Maoists would not get more than a quarter of the vote, because their presence on the ground is perceived as oppressive. Maoist cadres stand in the way of local development work, extort money from contractors and businessmen, and launch front organisations like the All Nepal Trade Union Federation (Revolutionary), All Nepal Women'sOrganisation (Revolutionary) and All Nepal National Free Students Union, which violently impose their social and economic philosophy in the villages, and forcibly ?recruit? support for street protests. As such, observers believe that the Maoists, knowing that they are hated, will try to keep their arms to ensure election to the constituent assembly. This reality may well be the reason why Maoist cadres have themselves of late become targets of hate and retribution by informal vigilante groups in the countryside.
As far as New Delhi is concerned, it is relevant that Prachanda, like many Western nations, has urged India to concede self-determination to Kashmiris and the northeastern states. But he was quick to defer to Chinese sensitivities on Tibet, saying ?we think that the autonomy that the Chinese government has given there is in accordance with the aspirations of the Tibetan people.? China was the only country to openly support King Gyanendra'sFebruary 2005 takeover of full executive powers, and to give him arms when India refused, so China is hardly a friend of Prachanda. Obviously, the latter'swas based on ground realities – China revoked duty-free access to Nepalese exports from July after the interim government made overtures to Tibetan refugees, allegedly at the instance of Washington.
India is oblivious to the art of wielding the velvet glove. Nepal has been used extensively by Pak-trained terrorists from Kashmir. Indian Airlines flight IC-814 was hijacked from Kathmandu to Kandahar in Afghanistan in December 1999, and the recent Mumbai train blasts have a major Nepal connection, with the first arrests of four Pakistanis with incriminating RDX being made in Kathmandu. It is simply inexplicable that an India, reeling with Maoist violence in huge swathes of the country, should accept Nepal'sMaoists coming into the mainstream by brokering the 12-point SPA-Maoist accord of 2005 and now accepting a UN role in the arms surrender.
Prachanda is due to visit India again, and will certainly chalk out a behind-the-scenes strategy with the Congress? Italian Vicerene and her cohorts. And New Delhi will not even raise the issue of harassment of Indians in Kathmandu or utilisation of Nepalese soil for anti-India activities. So much for the national interest.