Saturday, June 11, 2005

NEPAL: Maoist leaders in Delhi: An inside story

The Indian intelligence department, RAW, has had its hands soiled in many political episodes in South Asia right from Sikkim’s integration (into India) to the establishment of Bangladesh and Sri Lanka’s Tamil rebellion. P. K. Hermiz Tarakan who was appointed chief of RAW early this year is reputed to have an in-depth knowledge about Nepal’s politics. Under the garb of an Indian diplomat, he was the RAW chief in Nepal until May/June 2001. Has Tarakan, who was set to retire this month had he not been promoted, chosen to make some political maneuverings so as to make his importance felt? Some do think along this line. But Dr. Bhattarai has flatly denied the fact that the Indian intelligence officers had a role in his Delhi mission. Irrespective of whoever he met through whatever medium, it is clear that after Bhattarai’s latest Delhi tour, the Maoists have received political recognition from the Indian government, in an undeclared fashion though. It is worth mentioning here that it was India, before the Nepal government itself, which declared the Maoists as terrorists way back in 2001. Prachanda has used Baburam, who is said to have “Indian leaning”, with a conscious effort of making India positive towards himself. On his part, to that end, Bhattarai is giving more emphasis on trying his luck through the Indian leftists who are in the government.

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