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Archive for July, 2012

Secret Dairy of an Indian President

Posted by chimeki on July 30, 2012

While all the political maneuverings are done downhill, I Pranab Mukherjee, the most overrated player is left alone in the 350-room abode to watch them on television. Here, in a tightly guarded room I sit on a silver chair to write dairy. The protocol, they say, I must follow until I vacate the Bhavan.

I don’t want to do this. It is something I have been able to avoid all my life in public service. Had I maintained a dairy would I have climbed the Raisina Hill? I am said to be a Brahmin but I have always followed the Buddhist principle of being an observer. I never participant in process but narrate them to others. And maybe that is why I am called a crisis manager. My trick to management is to speak truth to friends and foes alike. I always frankly told our coalition partners what they could sincerely expect as junior partners. My offers included: no CBI inquiry of any kind as long as they remain in coalition and extra fund from center for state’s (mis)management. These are but two of many in offer.

My second principle is to keep silence. Unlike others in our party who either seldom speak or too much I speak when I am asked to. I learnt this from our great leader Rajeev Gandhi. He threw me out of the working committee for speaking when it was best to remain silent. Let me recall the story. Immediately after Mrs Indira Gandhi was assassinated and he and I were flying back to Delhi from Calcutta, to test my loyalty, he asked me who should replace her. I innocently suggested that she should be replaced by the senior most member of the party’s working committee. While uttering these words I didn’t realize that I was lobbying for myself. He didn’t like the answer and as soon as we reached Delhi I was replaced even before Mrs Gandhi. It took me seven years to get back to where I was on that inauspicious day.

Let’s not dig into past. I want to talk present. If you carefully look at the coverage of this year’s presidential election you will find that unlike in the past my election to the highest post was covered pompously. The newspersons talked about the importance of this office and how I might have felt after getting elected? They spoke about the greatest honor I was getting for serving this great land for these many years. But with my political acumen I could see that they were not celebrating my ‘victory’ but failure. Yes, I failed miserably. Should I act naïve to consider being president as the greatest honor one can achieve? For many years I had dreamed of becoming the prime minister of the country.

A man of my repute who had opportunities to attend the meetings presided by Late Mrs Indira Gandhi can hardly feel proud on becoming president. I still had memory of the time when Mrs Gandhi decided to impose Internal Emergency. While many of us were asked for suggestions she never, for a second, thought of then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed. When one of the ministers reminded her if he would ratify the decision she just smiled. She didn’t even give a second thought when she sent the ordinance for approval. This is how a president is treated in our polity. We crack jokes on presidents. In our working committee meetings we often scare colleagues of proposing them for presidentship (of India of course) else they fall in line. Recently Mr Manmohan Singh tried to take on Mrs Sonia Gandhi and was shocked to hear in the evening news one of our party leaders wishing to see him on the ‘highest post’! He immediately rang her and apologized.

So when I saw media coverage of my swearing in I immediately understood they were celebrating my defeat and not victory. Our country’s media was actually celebrating my retirement from the politics. For a year or so I had been hitting corporate where it hurts the most. This I did deliberately. I knew Mrs Gandhi was all set to give me farewell after this term. I decided to make the corporate upset before that for I knew the pain in their ass is pain in our government’s ass. The more they are upset the more the chance to get big. I succeeded. The party decided to gracefully remove me from the finance ministry.

All said, I must confess I failed to achieve my goal in life. Today in the morning when I was taking guard of honor I heard one former colleague of mine cracking joke. He said, “a person who should often speak is mute. A person who could speak was muted today”. I can’t agree more. Frankly speaking I didn’t have a new responsibility today but retired from public life. I believe I am paying for taking the corporate world and its linchpins head-on. I did not come here an achiever but a loner. I am Napoleon on Saint Helena.


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Reading Nepal’s Maoists Movement Through Wikileaks- Part II

Posted by chimeki on July 20, 2012

(to read the first part of the article click here)

India’s Game:

The cables present a ‘carefree’ picture of then Indian establishment. Unlike the US and the King India was not worried about the Maoists’ takeover. However it continued to keep the US in dark of its policy on Maoists. India shrewdly made the US believe that it was not going to compromise with the Maoists and at same time it was establishing contact with the senior Maoists leaders.

It seems that by 2004 India had already made the decision of Nepal without a King. A December 6 article in the Hindustan Times Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was quoted as suggesting bringing in ‘progressive Maoists’ in mainstream. Nevertheless to show its commitment for the constitutional monarchy and its disdain for the Maoists, India frequently put forth several pre-conditions for its support to the Monarchy. It knew that the King was creating the Maoist phobia only to establish an absolute Monarchy. On 8 December 2004 Secretary Shayam Saran outlined a four point approach to dealing with the Maoist:

–India and Nepal must coordinate more closely in order to resolve the Maoist problem;

— The Maoists must understand that they cannot win militarily and that the longer they avoid negotiations, the weaker their bargaining power will become.  This requires sustained military pressure on the Maoists, and concrete military successes by the Royal Nepal Army (RNA);

–The Palace and the political parties must put aside their differences, and present a united front to the Maoists;

— Development is one means of overcoming the Maoist threat. Kathmandu should “hitch itself” to India’s economy in order to promote economic growth. (04NEWDELHI7750)

These guidelines were meant for the King. However for the King these were unacceptable conditions. The King didn’t want to bring India in and also was reluctant to join hands with the political parties. In the same cable the under secretary Manu Mahawar suggested the US ambassador that the King should not undermine Deuba’s authority as it would only exacerbate the situation. Which suggests that Indian establishment knew from it sources that what future held for Dueba.

But undermining once again the authority of India the king dismissed the Deuba government. From this point onward India was free of inhibition and worked more rapidly to bring in Maoists together with the political parties.

‘Writing in The Indian Express Foreign Affairs strategist C Raja Mohan observed, ‘that the King had gambled that India would reluctantly support the monarchy when faced with a choice between the Maoists and the Palace.  General Ashok Mehta argued that the King’s actions reflect his obsession with power, and said it was unlikely that that the King would ever restore democracy’, noted the ambassador on 2 February2002.

Two days later India suspended the military pipeline and told the ambassador that it was worried about China and Russia involvement in Nepal. In cable number 05NEWDELHI922 (2005-02-04) India was particularly worried about reports that the RNA chief had contacted Russia to provide MI-17 helicopters.  “We just cannot accept that,” Saran underlined, adding that the mere fact of the request was worrisome.  Saran was also concerned by rumors that President Musharraf was reaching out to the King, fearing that this too could be part of an effort to take advantage of India’s firm policy in order to cultivate influence with the Palace.  The Ambassador noted that the US had already weighed in with the Chinese, and promised to convey the Foreign Secretary’s worries about other players. This suggests India was blocking every help the King could get. For India the Maoists were not as big a problem as the King himself. Devoid of check (political parties) the King could have done as the Maoists would have if they had come to mainstream without compromise.

Nepalese Diaspora also played an important role for making India ‘liberal’ towards the Maoists. As the US ambassador in New Delhi noted in cable number 05NEWDELHI1556,  ‘in contrast to most Nepal residents, who reportedly are not considering radical changes to the monarchy, as they are widely supportive of the institution, many Indian Nepal experts are beginning to contemplate the future of the Kingdom without a monarch.’

In the same cable the ambassador quotes Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal AR Deo who suggests, ‘Nepal appears to be no exception to the international trend of monarchies ending around the globe. The question for policy makers is how to ensure a soft landing.’ So it can be fairly concluded that by March 2003 the Indian establishment was concentrating in ensuring ‘a soft landing’ instead of saving Monarchy. Accordingly it started facilitating the negotiations between the Maoists and the political parties.

By August 2006 the US lost it hope of bringing India and the King together. In cable number 05NEWDELHI6595 the ambassador notes, ‘Washington Must Lead, Because New Delhi Can’t’. In the same cable JNU professor assured the ambassador that the Maoists were willing to join a democratic government and even accept a titular monarchy, ‘alluding to his close connections to senior Maoist leaders (he responded to a challenge by asserting that he had met CPN(M) chief Prachanda “within the past 10 months”), Muni asked us to trust the Maoists’ willingness to participate in a peaceful political process(05NEWDELHI6595).’  Here the ambassador understood that they were checkmated and the ambassador says, ‘We were struck by the widespread acceptance among New Delhi’s Nepal watchers of the idea that King Gyanendra has made himself dispensable.  We have convoked this group repeatedly since February 1, and on this occasion found a stark souring of views on the King, which contrasts with the GOI’s continued commitment to the “twin pillars” of constitutional monarchy and multiparty democracy’.

Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran met Gyanendra on 12 December 2005. In this meeting the King begged for time to correct his moves however Saran told him point blank, ‘that India could wait, but the time line is now imposed by the progress of events in Nepal, not India’s actions.’

The Maoists’ Position

The picture that the cables present of the Maoists is of an opportunist party rather than a revolutionary one. They were more guided by the situations than by ideology. At one time they looked as if they were for revolutionary change in Nepal and at other time they were ready to compromise with the King. They even went further to sell the sovereignty of the nation just to land safely in the mainstream. One time they projected India as an enemy and the next time they ‘begged’ it for support. The US never quite trusted the Maoists but India always felt at home with them. India somehow knew- which proved right after 2006- that the Maoists would never threatened its interest.

The Maoists on the other hand ‘exploited’ all the opportunities they could find to come to the mainstream. Their eagerness to get legitimacy was more funny than frightening. And it looks that all the negotiations with the government of Nepal failed only because the government was not interested in making it success otherwise the Maoists might have compromised well before 2006.

In 2003 talk they dropped their demand of constitutional assembly and in 2005 they agreed for ‘a titular monarchy’. Had the King showed them some ‘benevolence’ they would have also refused to form an alliance with the political parties.  This was proved in 2003 when they, sidelining the political parties, demanded the formation of an interim government under their leadership. And even before in 2001 when they shamelessly declared that they were in touch with the late King Birendra. After the King was ousted they signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement with political parties. They didn’t care to ask how could Girja represent the state of Nepal. Didn’t his only qualification was that he had India’s trust!

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Will Prachanda Survive?

Posted by chimeki on July 19, 2012

United Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist)’s (UCPNM) extended plenum is kicking off today. Chairman Prachada will seek approval to his political document, which is already endorsed by the central committee, from more than five thousand cadres justifying his line post split scenario. After a faction, led by former Vice Chairman of the UCPNM broke away from the party accusing him of deviating from the party line the time has come for him to firmly rein the party and consolidate his grip or depart to oblivion.

For more than a decade and a half Prachanda has been at the center of every political debate of the country. His every move and word was watched, weighed and analyzed. When his party took the peaceful path, after a decade long violent people’s war to topple Monarchy, he was suspected by the parliamentary parties for using the parliamentary politics to further the party’s agenda of communist state. Later when he was able to establish his credentials with the frowning parties he was rebuffed by his colleagues for betraying the party’s agenda! He was accused of selling out to ‘expansionist’ (read India) and betraying the anticipated revolution. The accusations are yet debatable.

Earlier, even his opponents believed that if someone in Nepal was capable of taking Nepal out of crisis it was Prachanda. After the demise of former Prime Minister of Nepal Girja Prasad Koirala, a co-signatory of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, Prachanda stature rose unprecedentedly. Being the sole signatory alive, he promised to take the peace agreement to its logical conclusion. He consented to show the maximum flexibility on the contested issues of the agreement. He stood by his words scrupulously. He agreed on returning land seized from the landlords during people’s war and in the modalities of Army Integration. He even agreed to form a multi-identity based federal system in Nepal against his own party line of creating single identity based federalism.

However, in a hurry to appease the parliamentary parties and influential neighbor he lost confidence of his long trusted comrades. These comrades, who have now formed a new party, had a long association with him. Before and during People’s war the departed comrades formed the core group which took all the major decisions and played the most important role in extending the party’s influence in the country. Although Prachanda can boast of retaining the chunk of commanders who led the battles nevertheless majority of the dedicated lower rung cadres of the former people’s army have joined the new party. Principally they have formed the ‘voluntary group’, a misnomer for people’s army. Moreover, to Prachanda’s dismay, of 26 odd sister organizations of the UCPNM, 19 have consented to join the new party.

Prachanda today is left with very few comrades he can trust or who still trust him. Majority of the present central committee members are those who have joined the party shortly before the initiation or during the people’s war. Some of the big names in the party like Ram Karki, Devendra Poudel, and Haribol Gajurel were formerly the members of the party led by current Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai. They joined the party along with him. Current Education Minister Dinanath Sharma joined the party during the people’s war. He was inducted into the party by Baburam Bhattarai. Similarly many who joined after the party abandoned the violent struggle do not hold loyalty towards Prachanda. They are loyal to their former comrades. Today there are three strong groups in the party.

In this backdrop, Prachanda must have realized by now that if he has to retain influence in the party he has to create an atmosphere where all the groups merge to form one. His political document highlights this need. If anything Prachanda wants last is to see another challenge to his supremacy. Until recently he played one group against another. He pacified radicals by showing them the danger of Baburam’s ‘revisionist’ line and countered radicals by taking support from Baburam. Now, with the departure of radicals, he has come face to face with the person who had always challenged his leadership. Baburam Bhattarai is someone who nurtures ambitions similar to him. This was not the case with the radicals for they were content in his leadership.
This plenum will test Prachanda’s mettle. He has to convince participants that he is still the supreme leader and his idea of revolution is best suited for the condition of Nepal. Moving further he also has to force other senior leaders, including Baburam Bhattarai, to fall in line. In case he could not he will loss the fight and this time for ever.


(published in www.hardnewsmedia.com)

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Reading Nepal’s Maoist Movement Through Wikileaks – Part I

Posted by chimeki on July 17, 2012

Vishnu Sharma

To read leaked United States embassy cables on political development in Nepal during the decade long Maoist’s Movement is enlightening as well as entertaining.  The cables give an extraordinary insight into the minds of people who were working to stop the advancement of the movement and those wanted to further the movement. The students of the Maoist movement in Nepal would surely gain an idea as to how the entire ‘free’ world in general and India and America in particular were reading the developments in Nepal and what modus operandi they applied to influence the movement.

In one particular point even America fell in love with India’s negotiation skill when it came to bring ‘revolutionaries’ of Nepal in mainstream. The ‘positive’ results that Indian diplomacy generated in Nepal showed that ‘Chanakya’ serves better than ‘Machiavelli’ in South Asia and to corrupt revolutionaries- if they are ready for it- is an art and India was the master of the skill!

The leaked documents fall in two categories. Those sent from Kathmandu Embassy and those sent from New Delhi Embassy. Ambassadors in both the Embassies narrate the development from two different angels. While ambassadors in Kathmandu see it through the Nepal’s angle which was in direct conflict with the Maoists, the ambassadors in New Delhi narrate the development from India’s perspective. After reading the cables it is evident that the King of Nepal  as well as Indian establishment did not believe Maoists to be a serious threat and they projected them as threat only to advance their respective agendas of consolidating power in Nepal. In this game one had to lose. The King lost. As far as the Maoists are concerned by 2002-03 they had lost the courage to take the movement forward. They had already started negotiating with the King and with India at the same time.

 The King’s Approach:

After reading the cables it becomes evident that the King lost the game because he underestimated India. The King’s overconfidence and his sheer negligence of the India’s strength made him vulnerable. He, without ‘proper’ knowledge of India’s influence in the bureaucracy and the Nepal Army, tried to take control of them. Although he, like India and the US, wanted to finish the Maoist ‘insurgency’ but unlike India he, at the same time, wanted dispose the political parties and become the sole authority in Nepal. For this purpose he tried to play time tested ‘China card’ and force India to toe his line.  Had he taken India seriously he could still be ruling in Nepal in the name of democracy!

After becoming the King on the backdrop of Palace Massacre of 2001, in which the entire royalty except Gaynendra’s immediate family was murdered, the Nepalese state initiated the first round of peace talk. The Maoists’ team was headed by its senior leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara. The Maoists’ demanded: abolition of constitutional monarchy; rewriting of constitution; and the establishment of interim administration and a Constituent Assembly to facilitate transition to a republic.

After the attack on the Twin Towers in September 2001 and the corresponding declaration of ‘War on Terror’ by the US and its satellites, including India, the Maoists were declared ‘terrorist’ and the government of Nepal became unenthusiastic for the talks. Subsequently the talks failed. Until then the Maoists and the state had their own standings and none of them wanted to divert from them. There was no common ground where the interests of both the parties could intersect. The King had a healthy relationship with India and the political parties enjoyed King’s support. It seems that only the King and the Maoists understood that the talks would fail and hence both, during the peace talk, were consolidating their positions, the King in the bureaucracy and the Maoists on the field. When the talks collapsed these two parties emerged as the only power centers in Nepal leaving the parliamentary parties in limbo almost without any say. This development made the King believe that the world had no other option but to choose him or the Maoists. On 26 November 2001, just three days after the breaking of peace talks, the government of Nepal, on the behest of the King, declared the state of emergency. Within a year the King dismissed the elected government of Sher Bahadur Deuba and took over the executive power. India, against the calculations of the Monarch, did not support the idea and issued the statement asking the King to rectify the move.

India always believed that strong parliamentary parties were vital for its successful influence in Nepal. The ‘buffer’ (the word used by then Indian Foreign Secretary) was necessary to keep the Monarchy in check. In case this buffer was removed India risked its influence. During King Mahendra’s time India had suffered greatly because of King’s frequent China tilt. A strong buffer between King and India had paid great dividends and hence in 1990 India helped create a constitutional monarchy in Nepal. But now it looked that the King was all set to do away with it!

From here onward we have wiki cables to justify our arguments.  What seems from the cables is that King was trying to do away with the parliament and also with the Indian influence in Kingdom’s day to day affairs. From 2003 onwards instead of talking advice from India the King tried to pursue his own path for the future course of action under the guidance of the US and from the support of China. His palpable snobbery of India infuriated the ‘big’ brother who never wanted any kind of third party influence in the South Asian region even if it was of its ‘strategic’ partner, the US.

According to cable number 02KATHMANDU1326 dated August 8 2002 the King visited China in July 9, 2001 on a state visit hosted by Chinese President Jiang Zemin. The cable notes that ‘Gyanendra’s brother, the late King Birendra, paid three official visits to China, the last time in early 2001 just three month before his death. Birendra also toured China unofficially on seven other occasions’. The cable also notes that, ‘Nepal currently runs a USD 150 million trade deficit with China, and Shrestha hopes that gap can be closed.  China has offered to build new roads to promote cross-border trade, including one through the former kingdom of Lo Monthang in Mustang (on Nepal’s northern border) and another leading northwest out of Kathmandu.’ According to the cable the King was likely to highlight the memorandum of understanding and Yuan convertibility that were signed by Nepal and China in recent months’.

The Yuan convertibility was the major step for getting rid of over dependence on India. The Chinese tourists and businessmen visiting Nepal were not needed to bring USD as they could directly convert Yuan for Nepalese Rupee. This could also help the Chinese to invest in Nepal, buy land and own property without trading their reserve of USD. India had for long enjoyed this privilege. This was the threat that put India against the King.

The cables suggest that the King was successful in winning over the US. For the US it was a welcome chance to penetrate deep inside Nepal. Had India remained ‘careless’ and not sabotaged these efforts the US might have established its stations across Nepal. The King’s men did much to force the US to make India support the Monarchy. The US tried hard but India didn’t agree. This infuriated the US so much that at one point of time it decided to join hands with China to work in Nepal. In cable number 03KATHMANDU382 dated 4 March 2003 the ambassador said confidently, ‘The door must be left open for India to re-think its bilateral-only approach.’

The US like the King believed that India was not doing much to tackle the Maoist insurgency. In the cable number 02KATHMANDU2044 dated 10 October 2002 newly appointed Foreign Secretary of Nepal Madhu Raman Acharya told the Ambassador, ‘India’s “actions don’t always match the expectations here.” While India had cooperated in banning the All Indian-Nepali Unity Society, a Maoist front the same organization has resurfaced in India under a different name’. In the same discussion the Foreign Secretary emphasized that, ‘The GON (Government of Nepal) wants the support of India “in ways that are acceptable and comfortable for us”’. That clearly meant supporting the Monarchy against India’s assertion of ‘two pillar theory’.

This assertion of the Foreign Secretary confirmed the US’s belief that although, ‘India was the first country to declare the Maoists “terrorists” after the insurgents broke the ceasefire in late November, 2001.  Since then they have done little, and reportedly Maoist leaders and cadres continue to shuttle back and forth across the open border.  India appears to be using Deuba’s visit to show their care and concern, but not necessarily in more than a symbolic way (02KATHMANDU575 20, March 2002).’ Because of this reason when in February 2002 the King assumed the executive power the US supported it and did much to calm the political parties and to build their support for King. At that time only Deuba was bitter against the King however, ‘he apparently has taken the Ambassador’s advice and maintained a relatively dignified and constructive public stance (02KATHMANDU1964).

When India did not heed to the King’s wish he tried to bring in other parties and threatened India’s interest. The first step was to appease the US. The King reshuffled the advisory council and included the people who were more close to the US than India. Foreign Minister Narendra Bikram Shah and Foreign Secretary Madhu Raman Acharya were two of them. According to the cable 02KATHMANDU2044, Narendra Bikram Shah he was ‘witty, intelligent, and a long-time friend to the U.S.’.

The US on its part did much to help the King to consolidate his influence. In October 2002 a conference was held in London on Nepal. The US arm twisted 22 donor nations to support the King in his fight against the Maoists. The cable number 02KATHMANDU2045 says, ‘the Ambassador reiterated the interest of the US in social and political reform, including the reduction of corruption, but argued that unreasonable preconditions should not be imposed on Nepal during this time of crisis.  He acknowledged that the operations of the GON security forces do sometimes obstruct the free flow of food to insurgency-affected areas, but the root cause of this was Maoist depredations.   He urged the donors not just to complain about or solely criticize GON actions or inactions, but to be prepared to work with the GON in efforts to effectively combat the insurgency and to develop — like the U.S. and the UK — new programs to specifically help the GON counter the Maoists.’ As the result, ‘the Russian and Australian Ambassadors and the Danish Representative agreed that the Chairman’s Statement should give stronger emphasis to the Maoists’ destruction of infrastructure (02KATHMANDU2045)’.  In the end of the conference all the 22 donor countries issued a statement condemning the Maoists and hailing the King of the measures he had taken to counter terrorism!

Even this development could not deter India from his stance of constitutional monarchy. The more the King got support from the other countries the more it supported the parliamentary parties. And gradually the parties got the confidence to take on the King. Now the political parties wanted their say in the state’s affairs. When Gaynendra approached the Maoists for the second round of talk by declaring ceasefire the political parties criticized the King’s approach for its ‘lack of transparency’.

Meanwhile India started to show its card. Firstly it cut off the arm supply to the Royal Nepalese Army and then gradually limited the supply of other goods. In cable number 03KATHMANDU382 of March 2003, ‘Nepal’s Minister for Water Resources Dipak Gyawali is sharply critical of India’s policies on cross-border energy trade.’ The cable concludes, ‘we remain deeply concerned over India’s apparent unwillingness to collaborate fully in regional efforts which stand to bring much-needed, long-term benefit to poverty-stricken Nepal.  Indeed, indications are multiplying that India will resist participating in any forum organized by the U.S. that has only South Asian countries as participants.’

As India remained unmoved of frequent pleas from the US for helping Nepal the King decided to approach China more elaborately. To show strongly that he was moving toward China in case India remained unsupportive the Government of Nepal deported the 18 Tibetan detainees to China. This was the biggest diplomatic error by the Royal Government as it helped India to build consensus against Nepal.

On the other hand this move of the King also alienated him from the international community which was helping Nepal to fight the Maoists. The cable number 03KATHMANDU1044 says, ‘the international outcry provoked by this incident should make the GON weigh carefully any future request to deport detained refugees.’

When the King failed to get the legitimacy from India and the political parties he tried to get it from the Maoists themselves. He called them for the negotiation. The Maoists for then supported this idea and went for talk under the leadership of Dr Baburam Bhattarai. To the surprise of many for this round of negotiation Maoists even dropped their key demands of Constituent Assembly and abolition of Monarchy. The statement issued by Prachanda on 29 January 2003 put forth 5 conditions for talk. They were, removing the terrorist label on the Maoists, lifting Interpol Red Corner notices, establishing an interim government, halting all offensives and  withdrawing ‘head money’ on key Maoist leaders. In March 2003 the talks began formally. The talks lasted for more than seven months and during this period Maoists and the Monarch almost reached an agreement on the formation of Interim government headed by the Maoists. However one thing was sure and that if they both neglect the parties they would not get India’s support. Later, in August when the talked failed both the King and the Maoists started to woo the parliamentary parties to make their respective cases stronger.

The King reinstated sacked Sher Bahadur Dueba as the Prime Minister but failed to win over India. By the end of 2004 Maoists had already decided to form an alliance with the political parties sans Deuba. In February 2005 the King dismissed the Deuba and formed the government under his own leadership and pledged not to hold election until the Maoists were defeted.

In the coming days India was able to broker a deal between the Maoists and the parliamentary parties to form an alliance against the King. (to continue)

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