Prachanda accuses India of interfering in Nepal’s internal affairs
Chairman of Nepal’s main opposition party Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on Tuesday warned India not to interfere in the country’s internal affairs and also threatened to launch an indefinite strike from January 24 to restore ‘civilian supremacy’.
Addressing a rally to mark the end of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) called three-day general strike, the former prime minister blamed India for its role in Nepal’s politics and sought a relook at relations.
“India shouldn’t assume that it can form and dissolve governments in Nepal at will. We are a sovereign nation and no one should try and interfere in our internal affairs,” said Prachanda.
Although they have been blaming foreign powers of trying to disrupt the ongoing peace process in the country, this is the first time any prominent Maoist leader has publicly blamed India for playing a negative role in Nepal.
Prachanda listed five points to ‘correct’ Nepal’s unequal relation with its larger neighbour including scrapping of the 1950 peace and friendship treaty, resolution of border disputes and a “balanced” trade treaty based on equality.
Prachanda also expressed anger at Indian Army chief General Deepak Kapoor’s reservations on integration of former Maoist guerrillas into Nepal Army. Kapoor had made such statements during the recent visit of Nepal Army chief General Chattraman Singh Gurung to India.
Accusing the ruling coalition government of turning a deaf ear to peoples demands, Prachanda announced the fourth phase of the party’s agitation to restore ‘civilian supremacy’.
“The next phase will start from December 25 and end on January 24. If the government still fails to address our demands, we will launch an indefinite general strike,” he said.
Urging Nepali people to decide whether they want to remain independent or become slaves to a foreign power, Prachanda said that the month-long fourth phase of agitation will “awaken masses and expose foreign agents”. Officials at the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu refused to comment on Prachanda’s statements.