Nepal Maoists' support for Indian comrades worries govt
, TNN, Jul 1, 2010, 01.38am IST
: With Nepal plunging back into uncertainty with the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Wednesday, alarm bells are going off in India.
For one thing, the Maoists have, for the first time, openly expressed support for "communist revolutionaries" in other countries, particularly India.
After their politburo meeting on June 26, the Prachanda-led former guerrillas issued a statement protesting what they called the "suppression" of people in India.
"It has been decided to establish a lively relationship with the communist revolutionaries of the world with exchange of ideologies as per the principle of proletarians internationalism. Also, it has been concluded to raise voice against the suppression of the people in India and other parts of the world," the statement said. It's the clearest signal of Nepal Maoists openly soliciting links with the Naxalites in India, a movement that is described as the gravest internal security threat.
But the Maoist promise of support is also a political tool that they are using against India, well aware that the Indian system is particularly worried about external support to this insurgency. India was involved deeply in helping to bring the Nepalese Maoists into the mainstream, but it has been concerned about Maoists following a totalitarian agenda.
Indian officials noted with concern that Maoists have been increasing their links with China
, even as India plumps for a multi-party system in Nepal. On June 29, a 10-member team of high-ranking Maoist leaders travelled to China for close consultations. India reads this as a greater involvement by China in Nepalese affairs.
In May, Chinese foreign ministry for the first time issued a statement expressing concern about the situation in Nepal.
With Madhav Nepal's resignation, the Maoists now have to take steps to ensure that the peace process goes back on track, which, other political parties say, has to be the precursor to the drafting of the constitution. The political deadlock prevented the constitution draft being ready before its deadline of May 28.
Instead, on that day, the parties worked out a three-point understanding with the Maoists -- completion of the peace process, extension of constituent assembly and resignation of the PM. Extreme political pressure from the Maoists and within the UML leadership like Jhalanath Khanal precipitated Nepal's resignation on Wednesday.
But deep differences remain. For instance, the Maoists still want all 19,000 PLA cadres to be integrated into the Nepalese army
, which is not acceptable to the other parties. They want the cadres to be broken up into smaller groups to be integrated into paramilitary, military and even offer retirement.
There was an expectation that after a year in the wilderness, the Maoists would be more amenable to political compromises. But despite Maoists themselves being a divided house -- there are now open rifts between Prachanda and Baburam Bhattarai and Mohan Vaidya who have joined forces -- they remain ideologically hardline, with little hint of political compromise. This was reflected in their politburo statement.
There are also fundamental differences between the Maoists and other parties, which might delay the writing of the constitution even further. For instance, there is little consensus on the form of government -- presidential or Westminster-style parliamentary democracy. There are also differences on the kind of judiciary Nepal should have, with the Maoists preferring the Cuban or North Korean variety of the judiciary being subservient to a strong executive.
Nepal Maoists' support for Indian comrades worries govt - India - The Times of India