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Prachanda for reviewing Indo-Nepal treaty

world Updated: Sep 03, 2008 23:31 IST

Ahead of his proposed visit to India, the new Nepalese Prime Minister Prachanda has said that the historic 1950 Indo-Nepal trade and transit treaty needed to be reviewed.

“Nepal has now become a republic after big political changes, therefore the 1950 treaty needs to be reviewed,” Prachanda told BBC Nepali service.

This were his first comments on the treaty, but he did not give details as to what needs to be changed.

The Nepalese premier, whose recent visit to Beijing had been perceived as a snub to New Delhi, said he would visit India before going to attend the annual session of the UN General Assembly, without specifying any dates.

However, the foreign ministry sources said the tentative schedule for a visit was Sept 17-18.

In the interview, Nepal's first Maoist prime minister indicated that he would avoid any showdown with the country's still powerful army.

Though Prachanda had serious differences with the Army Chief Rukmangad Katuwal, he said he had no plans to sack him.

"As long as every one including Army, police and other officials remain committed to people's mandate on democracy, peace and change, no one needs to feel insecure. There will not be prejudice against any one," he said.

Stressing on restraint at this moment, the prime minister said that Nepal would suffer "if we make any move that is prejudiced".

On drafting 20,000 Maoist combatants now staying in cantonments into the Army, Prachanda said his cadres would be given freedom to chose to return home or remain in the profession.(MORE)

"I cannot say who will join the Army and who wants to return home at this moment," he said.

On whether the new government would order a fresh probe into the Royal palace massacre of 2001, in which the entire family of King Birendra was wiped out, Prachanda said that the issue would be raised in the Constituent Assembly.

“There has not been any satisfactory answer to the people's serious question in the matter,” he said.