Naya Patrika: Why isn't the Indian establishment willing to accept the Nepali Maoists?
Mani Shankar Aiyar: Nepal is a sovereign country. It is not for the Indian government to dictate who should be the decisive force in Nepal. India is mostly worried about the supposed relations between the Indian and the Nepali Maoists. There are doubts on Indian side that Nepali Maoists are helping Indian Maoists by providing trainings and arms. But I don't think India should sour its relation with a major Nepali political party based on such an assumption.
Do you think there is really some such partnership between the Nepali and the Indian Maoists?
I have not worked as the defence or home minister of India to say for sure. But as a politician, I can say this for certain that the Maoist parties in the two countries have no more than ideological solidarity.
Rakesh Sood, was pelted stones by protesters and shown black flag. It is said that the Indian establishment was greatly upset over this?
We Indians are used to being pelted stones and shown black flags. This is not an unusual incident. I have been at the receiving end of such protests many times while serving in Pakistan. The diplomatic relations of two countries should not be influenced by the reactions of a crowd.
It is said that the Indian establishment does not want constitution written in Nepal?
It is wrong to assume that India does not want Nepal to have a constitution. Our humble suggestion is that it may not be possible to build a complete constitution at once. But that should not be a reason to obstruct the entire peace process. Nepal can declare a constitution at the earliest by gathering consensus on important subjects and then amend constitution with time to iron out contentious issues. The Indian constitution has been amended 144 times till now but we have no misgivings about it. I am going to advise Maoist Chairman Prachanda to do the same: agree on what can be done now and make adjustments later.