Nepal pledges Panchsheel principles | world | Hindustan Times
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Nepal pledges Panchsheel principles

world Updated: Aug 24, 2008 00:11 IST

Nepal’s first Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda says his government’s priority would be to protect the republic’s sovereignty and bring lasting peace and to foster friendly ties with neighbouring countries, including India and China.

In a 15-minute message telecast by the state television agency that in the past used to refer to the Maoists as terrorists, the new prime minister outlined the focus of the government that was sworn in on Friday, saying it would follow the Panchsheel principles with Nepal’s neighbours.

Panchsheel or the five principles of peaceful co-existence were formulated in the 1950s and in 1954 resulted in a pact between India and China. They include mutual respect for each other’s territorial integrity and sovereignty, mutual non-aggression, mutual non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence.

The pledge comes even as there are growing allegations in Nepal about India’s negligence being responsible for the breach of a barrage in south Nepal that rendered over 75,000 people homeless.

There are also accusations of India encroaching on Nepali territory and interfering in Nepal’s internal matters, including the recent elections.

Before coming to power, the Maoists had pledged they would review all unequal treaties with India and take the initiative to have them scrapped or reviewed.

Urging the international community, especially the neighbouring countries, to provide “moral and physical” support during the “historic transition”, the Maoist chief said his government wanted friendly relations with its neighbours.

“I appeal to the Nepal Army, Nepal Police and National Investigation Department Armed Police Force to forget the bitterness of the past and extend support for national unity,” the revolutionary leader said.

“There will be no prejudice on our side. If Nepal does not exist, then there is no meaning for anything else including the republic,” he said.