Maoists delay signing of Nepal-India extradition treaty

Maoist leader Prachanda called up the PM and asked the governing SPA to not sign the treaty without the participation of the Maoists.

india Updated: Oct 04, 2006 12:05 IST

A demand from Nepal's Maoists has caused the postponement of this week's signing of an extradition treaty between Nepal and India, a television report said on Wednesday.

Maoist leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal, better known as Prachanda, telephoned Nepalese Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala on Tuesday night to demand that the governing Seven-Party Alliance not sign the treaty without the participation of the Maoist rebels, the Kantipur Television reported.

Kantipur Television quoted highly placed Maoist sources as saying Koirala agreed to the Maoist request to postpone the signing of the treaty that was agreed upon earlier this year until a more representative government was in place in Nepal.

Nepalese Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula had been scheduled to leave for New Delhi Wednesday to sign the treaty.

It is to replace an extradition treaty that Nepal and India signed in October 1953.

India wanted to revise it, saying the 1953 document was not adequate to deal with the modern-day problems of drug and human trafficking along the countries' 1,700-kilometre-long border.

Government sources said Koirala agreed to put off the signing of the revised extradition treaty until after top-level peace talks scheduled for Sunday between the leaders of his ruling alliance and the Maoists, who have been waging a civil war for a decade.

First Published: Oct 04, 2006 12:05 IST