Nepali Times Asian Paints
From The Nepali Press
‘India’s grand design’



Have you been talking to India on madhes?
Yes, we have been talking. I have been putting forward our views to the Indian ambassador and also officials in Delhi. If India had wanted, the mess in the tarai could have been avoided. The Indians blame the open border, but we find it difficult to buy that argument. They have a strategy to undermine the revolution in Nepal. Indian officials are working on a grand design to expand their influence in the tarai. We have been resisting their attempts.

What's your current policy towards India?
At the centre of our people's war was the issue of nationalism. But when India began arresting our leaders and we saw Indian intervention everywhere, we decided to fight against it and even planned to fight a tunnel war against India. I had prepared a proposal on this after reading about Vietnam's tunnel warfare. We were talking to the palace before 1 February 2005 but the situation took a nasty turn after the royal takeover. We then accepted Delhi's help to forge an alliance with the parliamentary parties. We wanted to discuss the 12-point agreement in Rolpa, but Girijababu suggested Delhi. He used to come to us after evading the Indians. But we never believed that this was being done without India's knowledge. Girijababu was India's guest. India did play a role in the agreement. Through Congress, we also developed a relationship with India.

So what does India want from you? And what do you want from India?
A relation based on equality. We want to evaluate past treaties and agreements on that basis. During this transitional period we want them to extend positive support as a good neighbor. But maybe India wants us to work for their interest. After we joined the government, we haven't done that. In the tarai, India played a role to marginalise our influence. This is not right.

What's your take on Indian ambassador Mukherjee's recent comment on CA elections?
The language he used is objectionable. It seems as if India is trying to dictate Nepal and Nepalis. Somewhat it smacks of former American ambassador Moriarty's speech.


LATEST ISSUE
638
(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)


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