On December 3 the Ambassador raised with Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran reports that intelligence agents assigned to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu have been characterizing USG policy and motives in Nepal as malevolently aimed at undermining Nepal's sovereignty.

12516 12/4/2003 2:14 03KATHMANDU2366 Embassy Kathmandu SECRET//NOFORN 03REF:KATHMANDU2282 "This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available." "S E C R E T KATHMANDU 002366

SIPDIS

NOFORN

STATE FOR SA/INS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/03/2013 TAGS: PREL, PTER, NP, IN SUBJECT: NEPAL: AMBASSADOR RELAYS CONCERNS ABOUT ACTIVITIES OF INDIAN INTELLIGENCE AGENTS

REF: A. REF: KATHMANDU 2282

B. KATHMANDU 2298

Classified By: AMB. MICHAEL E. MALINOWSKI. REASON: 1.5 (B,D).

1. (S/NF) On December 3 the Ambassador raised with Indian Ambassador Shyam Saran reports that intelligence agents assigned to the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu have been characterizing USG policy and motives in Nepal as malevolently aimed at undermining Nepal's sovereignty. The Ambassador told Saran that the reports had been passed to us by several Nepali political sources, who claimed to have had such conversations in the recent past with Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) agents based at the Indian Embassy. He also briefed Saran about unsubstantiated reports suggesting that some Nepali Maoist women may have received training at a security facility in Dehra Dun in northern India (Ref A). Noting that Nepalis, both within the government and in the opposition, sometimes attempt to play off Indian and American interests, he stressed that the information passed on by these sources had not been verified. He noted that the reports predated the meeting between Nepali Maoists and Communist Party of Nepal - United Marxist Leninist General Secretary Madhav Nepal in Lucknow (Ref B)--an event that has SIPDIS set Nepali nationalists teeth on edge against India. The Ambassador emphasized that he was communicating these concerns to Saran as a friend and ally.

2. (S/NF) Ambassador Saran thanked him and expressed concern, describing the reports as ""unfortunate"" and not an accurate reflection of official GOI policy--a point confirmed in his recent policy discussions in New Delhi (see para 3). The GOI is committed to ensuring Nepal's stability, he said, adding that he has obtained unprecedented levels of development and security assistance for the kingdom. Nonetheless, sometimes people in different branches of the GOI ""go off on their own,"" he acknowledged, and promised to look into the reports.

3. (S/NF) In a separate meeting on November 30, Saran briefed the Ambassador on the just-concluded policy deliberations in New Delhi. He stressed that his interlocutors had expressed concern about possible spill-over of the insurgency onto Indian territory. According to Saran, Indian Defense Minister George Fernandes told him that ""the fight against the Maoists is also India's fight."" Saran noted, however, that certain quarters within the GOI had argued that India should maintain contact with the Maoists in order to influence them and to keep open communication channels in the event of a worst-case scenario in which the Maoists ultimately gain power.

4. (S/NF) We cannot discount the possibility that our Nepali sources, many of whom resent India's influence in their country, may have their own motives in conveying to us reports of Indian double-dealing. We have always found Saran professional, collegial, and cooperative, and believe that he does not sanction--and may probably not be aware of--all of RAW's activities in Nepal. His acknowledgement that some in the GOI ""go off on their own"" and that some advocate maintaining contact and influence with the Maoists is his first admission to us that some elements within his Embassy may be working at cross-purposes to official GOI policy.

MALINOWSKI