India sees role for king: PM
India still sees a role for King Gyanendra, and may resume sending arms to Nepal?s army. On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, ?We cannot afford to have Nepal as a failed state.?Updated: Apr 23, 2006 01:26 IST
India still sees a role for King Gyanendra, and may resume sending arms to Nepal’s army. On Saturday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, “We cannot afford to have Nepal as a failed state.”
The PM was speaking en route to Germany. In an interaction with the media, Singh characterised the Nepalese King’s moves to hand over executive powers to the seven parties alliance (SPA) — following the visit of special envoy Karan Singh — as a move “in the right direction”.
When asked why India was endorsing Gyanendra at a time when there was a question mark over the monarchy itself, he said: "Our position is that a Constitutional monarchy and multi-party democracy are the two pillars of Nepalese polity. There is no change in that."
The PM placed more emphasis on "the process" of the restoration of multi-party democracy having begun: "Our role is that of a conciliator, to ensure the democratic process is restored… that there should be a government in place which exercises all the executive powers. Now I hope the King and the political parties will be talking about future consequential steps"
Later, National Security Advisor (NSA) MK Narayanan said it was for the parties to figure out who they appoint as PM. "They have to build their own system," he said. "If the people want the monarchy to go, that's not our business."
The NSA said it was between the parties and the Maoists to get the latter to give up violence and share power. He described the Royal Nepalese Army as "one of the powerhouses of Nepal", and said that if they wanted, India would resume arms supply to them.
About the Maoist influence, Narayanan scoffed at the "red corridor" as mystical and mythical. "There are just pockets," he said of India's Maoists. He should know; he was a communism specialist during his career in the Intelligence Bureau.
Nonetheless, he reiterated the PM's assertion that India did not want a failed state in Nepal.
First Published: Apr 23, 2006 01:26 IST