Skip to comments.India treads fine line in Nepal's political crisis
Posted on 05/07/2009 4:54:48 PM PDT by Tailgunner Joe
India is walking a diplomatic tightrope as Nepal tries to form a new government, aware that excessive meddling in its traditional "backyard" could risk pushing the fragile Himalayan democracy closer to China.
India has always seen Nepal as part of its strategic sphere of influence, but that has been challenged in the past year since the election of Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda, who before he resigned last week had edged closer to Beijing.
Former guerrilla leader Prachanda quit on Monday after his dismissal of the army chief was blocked, sparking a political crisis and dealing a blow to Nepal's peace process after a decade-long civil war that saw the Maoists lay down their arms. ....
India denies meddling in Nepal but it was criticised in its own media for backing army chief General Rookmangud Katawal against Prachanda in an attempt to keep its influence there.
New Delhi also has had ties with Nepal's former monarchy and the opposition Nepali Congress party, even though it helped the Maoists join the political mainstream and brokered a 2006 peace deal.
"As usual, India interfered," said Maoist party foreign department head Chandra Prakash Gajurel, adding that the Indian ambassador to Nepal met Prachanda several times to ask him not to fire the army chief. "We are not sure what India's agenda is."
That agenda may be warding off China. Some analysts say Beijing has encouraged a nationalist front to counter India.
Those fears gained ground in New Delhi after Prachanda travelled to China last year for the Olympics closing ceremony, departing from a tradition which has seen incoming Nepali leaders make New Delhi their first foreign port of call. ....A dozen high-level Chinese delegations, including two military teams, have visited Nepal since last year.
(Excerpt) Read more at in.reuters.com ...
Bravo to India for finally reversing their pro-maoist policies which only played into China's hands!
It's not too late to save Nepal from communist tyranny!
Better late than never, I suppose.
I agree but there’s no point doing this on the sly. India needs to be more assertive with her interests and the Maoists are not in India’s interests anywhere in the world let alone Nepal.
Nepal is better off being another state in the Indian union than a Maoist-ruled Chinese satellite.