For the past sixty years relations between “secular” Bharat (aka India) and Hindu Nepal have mirrored Delhi’s relations with all her neighbors. The relations between Kathmandu and Delhi have never been warm, they have vacilated between forsty and cold, at times frigid. The Nepalese do not want to be part of Bharat, even though they share some of the same religious ideas. The Nepalese Hindus are qualitatively different than the Hindus of Bharat.
India is once again trying to put in place a pro-Indian government and keep the Maoists out of power. This could be very dangerous, because it could lead of widespread Anti-Indian riots. Already the Indian companies working Nepal face an uphill battle. Various project have been put on hold and trade is in jeopardy.
The low points were Bharati attempts to take over the Nepalese kingdom as it took over Sikkim and is it continues to try to take over Bhutan. Bharat first cajoled, and then sanctioned Nepal by stopping all trade to it. Being a land locked country Nepal finally acquieced and signed the notorious “Treaty of Friendhsip” which gave Bharat extra-territorial rights.
The people of Nepal rose up against the unjust “treaty”, just like the people of Bangaldesh had risen up against the same kind of “Treaty of Friendhship”. In the case of Bangldesh, they killed Sheikh Muji Ur Rehman the compliant Indian representative who had declared himself dictator for life and banned all the other political parties in Bangladesh. In Nepal the poor, the destitute, and the disenfranchised from Maoist insurgent groups that harassed the fedual lords, many of whom were Indian and had Indian nationality.
Several events lead up to the current crisis:
The establishment of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)
The creation of the Maoists Peoples Liberation Army on February 13th, 1996 and start of an armed struggle against cruelty and bondage
The Maoist control of almost the entire countryside of Nepal
Indian attempts to bansih and destroy them.
The abolition of the Indian supported royalty which has been sent to the dustbin of history.
The rise of the Maoist movement under Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda.
The peace treaty that allowed the Maoists to come in from the jungle and join the government.
The Maoists yearning for true freedom from Bharati clutches.
Prachanda and the Maoist leadership’s attempt to create distance from the clutches of India and put Nepal equidistant between Delhi and Beijing.
Prachanda wanted to cancel the “Treaty of Friendship” with Delhi and he wanted to build better relations with Beijing.
Indian interference in the government forced out the Maoist leader Prachanda after he tried to sack the insubordiate army chief General Rukmangud Katawal.
The installation of an Interim Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal, who governs through a loose coalition of 22 parties.
Today the Nepalese Army comprises of about 96,000 men and women and the PLA has about 20,000 registered combatants. The issue is–how to merge them.
Nepal will be unable to move towards peace and stability ’till Bharat stops interfering in its internal affairs.
The new republican constitution is to be esatblished by May 28th, 2010 and the two armies are to be merged by March 2010. The camps housing the PLA gureillas have to be dismantled by May 2010 when the US mandae for Nepal expires.
The pro-India Jhalanath Khanal, president of the Delhi sponsored Unified Marxist Leninist (UML), party has been unable to come forward with one voice. Defense Minister Bidya Bhandari disagrees with the prisedent of the party. Such bickering aside, the fractured government is using excuses not to include the Maoists in the mainstream army or policy.
The discredited Nepalese Army which was defeated by the Maoists has long supported the status quo–of keeping the royalty mentlaity and maintaining loyalty to Delhi. It is obvious that they don’t want the former enemies, the Maoists in their ranks.
The problem for New Delhi extends beyond Khatmandu and Nepal. The Maoist victory in Nepal serves as a lightning rod to the Maoist and Naxalites that are active in more than a dozen Indian states–from the Seven sisters in the Northeast, all the way down to central India and thenhooking up with the Tamil Nadus. The Naxalite insurrection in India has been named the number one security threat to the union right after Kashmir and theNortheast secessionist movement. India surrounded on all sides with insurgencies. India has horrible relations with all her neighbors-stealing territory from all of them. Much to the chagrin of Bharat, even Bhutan is now negotiating with China directly in the Chumbi valley. Intoxicated India, deaf and blind to internal schisms–unable to instrospect & resolve its huge race, caste, religious problemsIndia’s Security concerns
India, aware the former rebels are still the main political force with 40 per cent of seats in parliament, could look for a counterweight to any pro-China tilt in a ruling coalition.“India has to do business with the Maoists, so they will have to do a nice balancing act – not anger the Maoists while backing the forces it thinks are favourable to it,” said Lok Raj Baral, head of the Nepal Centre for Strategic Studies think tank.
“The Maoists know anti-India rhetoric now has quite a bit of appeal among the Nepali people. If India is perceived by the Maoists as too intruding it could push them more towards China.” Reuters. Dawn. India treads fine line in Nepal’s political crisis By Krittivas Mukherjee. Friday, 08
It used to be that the Naxalites from Andhra Pradesh used to support the Maoists of Nepal. Now that the Maoists have their own state, the trail of support will run both ways. The Nepalese revolution in eliminating the pro-Indian King will provide succor to the 89 insurgencies raging in the poor and disenfranchised sectors of “India.”
The clear and present danger for Bharat extends beyond the threat from the Maoists in Nepal. The fact remains that New Delhi for the past several decades has opposed the Maoist guerrillas fighting a complacent, corrupt and complaint pro-Indian appendage of a government in Khatmandu. Now New Delhi’s enemies are in power in Nepal.
KATHMANDU – Nothing illustrates the deep divide that Nepal must cross to achieve lasting peace than the two armies that stand ready to stare at each other down the barrels of their guns.
The Maoist demand is for amalgamation (en masse) of its forces with the Nepal Army, forming a new national army for which a fresh structure and hierarchy would have to be adopted. The Maoists insist that since their men and women conducted armed insurgency for over a decade until the 2006 peace deal, they would neither need any training nor be required to meet the criteria applied to new recruits.
However, the Maoist leaders have also shown some flexibility by offering to allow some of their PLA soldiers to be absorbed into three other security agencies – the Nepal Police, the Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department. The forces of reconciliation with former foes also led them to remove about 4,000 “disqualified” combatants from the camps, including minors and those not verified by the UN at the time of entry.
In the emerging context, while the UN is likely to direct its regular field office in Nepal to handle immediate challenges in concluding the current phase of monitoring, the international community might be required to return to Nepal should volatility threaten the peace and stability of South Asia. Nepal trying to march in step, By Dhruba Adhikary. Dhruba Adhikary is a Kathmandu-based journalist.
Some of the important visits from China to Nepal were:
February 25, 2009: Assistant Chinese Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue led a 14-member delegation.
February 19, 2009: Liu Hongcai, vice minister of the International Department of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), led a delegation to take part in the inaugural ceremony of the 8th convention of the Unified Marxist Leninist in Butwal.
February 10, 2009: A high-level Peoples’ Liberation Army (PLA) delegation, one of the largest delegations in two months, arrived in Nepal.
December 6, 2008: Lieutenant General Ma Xiaotian, deputy chief of General Staff of the PLA headed a 10-member delegation. China agreed to provide US$2.61 million worth of security assistance to Nepal.
December 1, 2008: China’s Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi visited Nepal.
July 24, 2008: Chinese Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Wu Dawei, visited Nepal. He pledged a grant assistance of 100 million yuan (US$15 million) as economic and technical cooperation.
March 4, 2008: Assistant Minister for Foreign Affairs of China, He Yafei, undertook a three-day visit to Nepal.
The Sri Lankans hate the Indians for supporting th the LTTE terrorists. The Bangladeshis are fed up with the “Rakhi Bahni” which tried to rule Bangladesh under an Indian general. The Burmese would rather be isolated than deal with a Delhi bent upon making it a protectorate, The Maldives almost drowning don’t want a lifeboat from Bharat. The Chinese have huge boundary disputes with Delhi. In the early days of independence Delhi thought that it could grab Tibet and thus bifurcate China into small pieces, perpetuating the colonial division of China. Mao Zedung would have none of that and took over Tibet, Aksai Chin and told Delhi to lay off Tibet. Then of course there are the Pakistanis, a huge impediment to Bharati hegemonistic designs in West Asia.
A Pro-Chinese Nepal is catastrophic for Delhi. A Nepal which is more friendly to China eliminates Delhi’s access to Tibet, and puts pressure on Sikkim and Bhutan. A hostile Nepal places the Indian union in jeopardy because it is a Damocles sword on Delhi. At the drop of a hat Nepal could choke Indian access to the seven Indian states in the Northeast which are already up in arms against Delhi.
Many think that the stalemate helps the Maoists who want to bide away the time ’till the next elections where they think they will be able to to capitalize on the impotence of the current government and sweep the polls. The Delhi machinery in cahoots with the Nepalese Army is working to prevent that from happening.
The Maoists are mad at Delhi for the interference. If India continues its diktat, the Maoists could retreat to the mountains and begin the war once again. China has a lot of influence in Nepal.
This year will be interesting. It will be fascinating to see if Nepal emerges as an independent republican state free of Delhi’s diktats, or will the Nepalese contineu their struggle against Delhi’s domination from the jungles.
Pakistan has to build better relations with Nepal. The long term goal would be to connect Nepal through Aksai Chin and the Karakurram highway– giving Nepal a berth in Gwader with Cosular status which would be “Nepalese territory”. Nepal could then ship containes from Nepalese ships and they would reach Nepal without interference from either Pakistan or China–nad more importantly wihout any interference from Bharat.