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Nepal rebels seek India's help against US

Stating that America has built an empire of terror world over, the Maiost leader urged India to support peace and democracy in Nepal.

india Updated: Feb 13, 2006 19:08 IST

As Nepal's underground "People's War" marked its 10th anniversary on Monday, its leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal or Prachanda called for a fresh war - this time against the US.

The underground leader, whose statements have been dominating the media after a string of interviews given to dailies in Nepal, India and finally the BBC, Monday wielded the pen himself to relay his message to the world.

In a statement from underground, Prachanda said Washington was covertly propping up King Gyanendra's government in Nepal as well as the Royal Nepalese Army and appealed to India, once the Maoists' pet hate, to support peace and democracy in the kingdom.

The statement was triggered by a visit to Nepal this month by a top American general, Admiral William J Fallon, head of the US Pacific Command.

While the American embassy here said that Fallon met Gyanendra to convey Washington's mounting concern at the widening rift between the palace and the political parties, Prachanda alleged the official had advocated the use of commandos - the elite Ranger Force - against "Nepali people".

"In the name of waging war on terror, the American authorities have built an empire of terror targeting people worldwide," Prachanda said.

"Realising the seriousness of the situation, our party had started calling the Royal Nepalese Army the Royal American Army for some years now. We are making a special appeal to Nepal, China, India, South Asia and all pro-people powers to strike a balance for democracy and peace."

The Maoist supremo said with the mass movement for democracy and a new constitution having gained the support of the people as well as international community, the "covert help" of American commanders would not be able to save Gyanendra's "feudal regime".

Earlier, in his interview to BBC, Prachanda predicted the king, who seized power through a bloodless coup last year and began a war on the parties as well as the guerrillas, would either have to flee into exile or be "executed" by the people.

On the 10th anniversary of the "People's War", Prachanda said Nepal remained poised between autocracy and democracy.

Although his party had called a four-month ceasefire from September 2005 to find a peaceful political solution, the royalist government had chosen to ignore it.

Instead, it had begun military offensives against Maoists, arrested political activists and enacted a "farcical" local election that was condemned by the international community.

Prachanda reiterated his call to the opposition coalition of seven parliamentary parties, with whom the Maoists had formed an understanding last year, to form a joint government and pledged his party would show the utmost flexibility.

The appeal shows a turnaround on the rebels' reaction to India, whom they had earlier suspected of harbouring the desire of annexing Nepal, and had been demanding the scrapping of several key Indo-Nepal treaties.

The Maoists have been waging a war against the government, vowing to establish a communist republic.

First Published: Feb 13, 2006 19:08 IST