Nepal Today

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Indian threaten Maoists preparing to capture power

By Bhola B Rana

Kathmandu, 27 April: Indian government has threatened Maoists, through an editorial in an establishment newspaper that reflects official thinking, not to dilute relations with New Delhi by scrapping the 1950 Indo-Nepal Friendship Treaty demanded by Chairman Prachanda.
In an editorial entitled ‘You’ve Got A Friend” in its 26 April edition, the newspaper repeated the same threats it issued to past Nepali governments which sought such treaty review.
“Any unpicking of the friendship treaty and other pacts will lead to a renegotiation of these benefits, which is something Nepal’s Maoists must consider carefully,” new editorial said.
Maoists have staked a claim to form a coalition government after emerging as the largest party in the 601-member CA with 220 seats ahead of Nepali Congress with only 110 seats.
The editorial with a sub-headline ‘It won’t help Nepal’s Maoist leaders to turn their backs on India’ gives a veiled warn to be cautious in forging ties with China.
“Not only is India Nepal’s largest trading partner, but the international community, which currently provides much of Nepal’s development budget, looks to India for direction of Nepal.”
The implication is New Delhi will ask donors, mainly western countries, to cut off assistance to Nepal in case Maoists try to force close ties with Beijing.
The editorial comes at a time when visiting American and British diplomats in Kathmandu have tried have to ward off criticism Washington and London have subverted their interests in Nepal to India’s.
“The ministry of external affairs must convince the Maoists that it is India which is Nepal’s gateway to the world,” the editorial said.
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