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Nepal PM defends letter seeking India’s support

world Updated: Aug 13, 2012 00:29 IST
Utpal Parashar
Utpal Parashar
Hindustan Times
Utpal Parashar

Embattled Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has defended the controversial decision seeking India's support to the Maoist cause in 2002 when the civil war was at its peak.

Bhattarai and Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda have been under attack from several quarters in Nepal for admitting to have sent the letter to the then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

"Following mass killings of masses by those in power at that time we as Nepal's parallel power had written to India, China, US, UN and others and we are still proud about that," Bhattarai wrote in an article in 'Kantipur', the country's highest circulated Nepali daily, on Sunday.

Bhattarai had admitted last week that he had sent a letter to Vajpayee in June 2002 seeking New Delhi's understanding of the Maoist cause through Prof.

SD Muni, an eminent Indian expert on Indo-Nepal relations.

The letter was handed over by Muni to Brajesh Mishra, National Security Advisor during the NDA regime and he in turn had passed it on to Vajpayee.

The issue got highlighted after recent release of a book 'Nepal in Transition: From Peoples' War to Fragile Peace' in which Muni in a chapter titled 'Bringing Maoists down to the plains' had mentioned of the letter.

It stated that New Delhi eased movement of Nepali Maoist leaders on its soil after Bhattarai and Prachanda promised in the letter not to hurt India's interest while pursuing their cause.

"Everyone needs to understand the intentions of those now engaged in an exaggerated misinformation campaign about things that transpired in an open and transparent manner," Bhattarai wrote.

The PM stated that present attempts by his government at normalization of relations with India are part of a well-thought policy keeping Nepal's national interests in mind.

"The developments from the 12-point agreement to the present political scenario have proved that our policy was correct and in the interest of the country and its citizens," he wrote.

In his article Bhattarai defended his government's decision to sign the Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion Act (BIPPA) with India, China and other countries to attract foreign investment.

He reiterated Nepal should take advantage of economic rise of its two large neighbours India and China and act as a "progressive bridge" between the two while giving due place in its foreign policy to western powers.

Bhattarai's next article on Monday will dwell on the possible way out of the present political impasse in Nepal following dissolution of the Constituent Assembly in May.