England is not on our list of enemies. All countries except the US government have no difficulty understanding us. Of course there are some complexities but they view us in a positive way. Even in the US government, there are internal differences among the officials themselves.
So, the US government might change its attitude towards your party?
The American citizens also agree that Maoists are not terrorists. We feel that the US government will gradually accept that. We have been making efforts to communicate with the officials through various organisations and other sources. But we have not had the opportunity to talk to the US ambassador. We are ready to meet him anytime he wants and we will convince him that we are fighting for the freedom of the Nepali people and that we are not terrorists.
So, who do you consider the major obstacle in the peace process? The US government or Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala?
Both, as they seem to agree with each other. The US government does not like to see any changes in Nepal. It wishes to see that those power centres remain in a government that is in favour of the Americans.
Despite all this, you seem to be optimistic about the peace process?
The state has given more priority to the agenda of the seven parties and this is why the talks have been prolonged. But we also know that it is very difficult to come to an understanding easily after ten years of armed conflict. This can be concluded only after thorough and serious discussions. The talks would have concluded by now if the peace process had taken place earlier. There are also elements which are trying to disrupt the talks. But both sides are in the spirit of making the talks possible.
Do you think that the talks were stalled after the king's chief secretary and army chief met PM Koirala?
We had almost reached an agreement and the situation was becoming positive. But now the situation is quite sensitive and we hold these two persons accountable for that.
Is it true that many of your comrades call you Mahara sir?
Well, I used to be a teacher for a long time in Rolpa. I entered politics while I was teaching. Many of my students also joined as leaders of our party. This is why many address me as 'sir'.