Maoist Chairman Prachanda has declined The Hindustan Times' invitation to attend the Hindustan Leadership Summit in New Delhi this month. In a letter to The Hindustan Times, Prachanda said that he is busy with the peace process in Nepal and "will not travel internationally unless peace is guaranteed in Nepal." He also said that he is concerned about his safety in India because the government is yet to release his party leaders, Mohan Baidya \'Kiran' and CP Gajurel \'Gaurab' from Indian prisons.
Prachanda was invited to talk about Maoist views under the topic \'India: the next world power'. Experts say that by refusing to attend the summit, Prachanda has lost his opportunity to interact with world leaders including Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, former British Foreign Minister Jack Straw, President of Afganistan Hamid Karzai, former Prime Minister of Malaysia Mahathir Mohammad, Sitaram Yechuri, Shashi Tharoor, Arun Jaitley, and Saurav Ganguli.
Prachanda was sent a special invitation to talk about the decade long \'People's War' and Jana Andolan II. The fact that Prime Minister GP Koirala was not invited but Prachanda was has been a matter of speculation in Kathmandu. This invitation to Prachanda was both a challenge and an opportunity because it would have been the first time that a Nepali Maoist leader was able to present party views to a group of world leaders. This would also have been the perfect opportunity for the Maoists to garner support for their cause.
Experts say that by declining to attend, the Maoists will have to bear diplomatic losses. On the other hand, some have applauded Prachanda's decision and say that by declining the \'mysterious' invitation, he has kept himself free from controversy.