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Prachanda looks to India for help

world Updated: Sep 27, 2011 00:35 IST
Utpal Parashar

In a significant turnaround, Nepal's Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ has sought help from India to bring about lasting peace to the Himalayan nation.

“India played a positive role in signing of the historic 12-point agreement. We want it to play a similar role one more time to help conclude the peace process,” he said on Sunday.

The Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Chairman was addressing a function held by Nepal-India Human Development and Friendship Association where India's new Ambassador to Nepal Jayant Prasad was also present.

A vocal critic of Nepal's southern neighbour and its policies, Prachanda's latest move is seen as his most genuine attempt yet at rebuilding his party's broken ties with India.

Indian officials here welcomed his change in stance but were quick to add that the Maoist chairman had made such gestures in the past as well only to retract to his old anti-India posture soon after.

Recalling the peace deal signed between Maoist and the seven-party alliance in New Delhi on November 22, 2005, Prachanda stated that development wouldn't have been possible without India's help.

Prachanda's statement came hours after his party colleague and Nepal Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai met Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh in New York on sidelines of the UN General Assembly.

During the meeting Prime Minister Manmohan Singh invited Bhattarai to visit India and assured all help to Nepal to conclude the peace process and rebuild the country after years of strife and political instability.