India’s role vital till transition ends

NEW DELHI, MAR 03 – Former Prime Minister and senior UCPN (Maoist) leader Baburam Bhattarai has said India should play a positive role, similar to one during the 12-point agreement in 2005, in order to end the existing political deadlock in Nepal.

indias-role_20150303081220Speaking at an interaction attended by former ambassadors and think tanks in New Delhi on Monday, Bhattarai said India’s expectation of peace and stability in its neighbourhood should not be misinterpreted. “Your role is essential to conclude peace process and the political-economic prosperity in Nepal,” he said.

The interaction on “Current Developments in Nepal” was organised by the Society for Policy Studies, a think tank of Indian journalists and policy analysts, and the India International Nepal.

Stating that a conservative force in Nepal is creating illusion that India was behind the Maoist movement in Nepal, Bhattarai said his party sought India’s support and cooperation whenever needed.

He claimed the peace process reached another phase when he wrote a letter to the Vajpayee government for help during the insurgency.

The Maoist leader said Nepal could face dire consequences if the country failed to address the issues of marginalised and backward communities. “Extremist elements like CK Raut can arise if the Nepali Congress and the CPN-UML adopt the traditional form of government. “UML leader KP Oli and Prime Minister Sushil Koirala do not have a sense of ownership of the past agreements. We are neither in favour of conflict nor will go for a revolt,” Bhattarai said.

On the issue of federalism, the Maoist leader said there could be nine or 10 states based on language, culture, geography and history.

On the occasion, former Indian ambassador to Nepal Shyam Saran called Bhattarai a nationalist leader who worries about the future of Nepal. “Nepal is taken as an ‘India-locked’ country but I take it as an ‘India-opened’ country,” Saran said, adding that Nepal can be a rich country in the region once it achieves political and economic stability.

Posted on: 2015-03-03 08:11