Concerned over the situation in Nepal, India on Thursday raised the issue of activities directed against it by Maoists and sought adequate security for its nationals in this country, including its diplomats.
It also conveyed to the leadership here that it would like to see “early” completion of Nepal’s peace process and resolution of all issues through political consensus in the backdrop of the current stalemate, which has been a matter of concern to New Delhi.
External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna, who held extensive talks with the leadership here, expressed India’s commitment to providing all kinds of assistance to Nepal in its transition to a stable, inclusive and multi-party democracy, noting that both countries have common “security concerns”.
Apart from being briefed on “internal developments in Nepal and progress made towards completing the peace process and drafting of a new Constitution,” Mr. Krishna was assured by the Nepalese leadership that they would address all of India’s security concerns and would not allow Nepalese territory to be used for any anti-India activity.
They also said they recognised the “crucial importance of preserving the professional integrity and apolitical nature of Nepal Army” while integrating the Maoist combatants with it in line with the Comprehensive Peace Accord.
Nepal government’s assurance comes in the wake of Maoists’ efforts for bulk integration of their Peoples Liberation Army (PLA) combatants into the national army and creation of a separate unit for them as part of the Seven Point Agreement signed between the former rebels and CPN-UML, which is strongly opposed by the Nepali Congress and other democratic parties.
“I conveyed that given the special relations shared by India and Nepal, India has an abiding interest in developments in Nepal and remains committed to providing all assistance that Nepal requires in its transition to a stable, inclusive, multi-party democracy,” said the minister, who held talks with President Ram Baran Yadav and Premier Jhala Nath Khanal among others.
During his meetings with the Nepalese leaders, Mr. Krishna also raised the issue of security of Indian diplomats and the country’s mission here against the backdrop of incidents targeting Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood and defacing of Indian national flags by Maoists.
When Mr. Sood recently visited Kailali, Gulmi and some other districts outside Kathmandu to hand over Indian-aided projects in the fields of education, health and drinking water, local Maoist cadres waved black flags, shouted anti-India slogans and tried to disrupt the programmes.
In some places, where various roads and bridges were constructed under Indian assistance, the Maoists defaced the Indian national flag.