Delhi against UN Nepal role

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  • Published 17.05.04

New Delhi, May 17: Aware that a military victory against the Royal Nepal Army is unlikely in the near future, the Maoist rebels are now keen to get the UN involved to break the political stalemate between them and the king.

The Maoists have called a three-day bandh in Nepal, beginning tomorrow, in support of their demand for abolition of monarchy in the country. But irrespective of the bandh’s success, the rebels are aware that King Gyanendra would not give up any power he has already acquired without a fight.

The public posture may be tough, but the Maoists are also looking for ways to break the stalemate with the palace. One way is to get the UN to mediate in initiating a dialogue with Gyanendra.

Indications are the US and the European Union are not averse to the proposal provided it is approved by both the Maoists and the king, but India — which attaches strategic importance to Nepal and is considered the biggest player in the country — is not in favour of third-party intervention.

Indian officials emphasised that the Maoist problem can be solved only by the king and Nepal’s democratically elected parties, provided they work in unison to break the deadlock with the rebels.

Third-party involvement, be it the UN or any other organisation or individual, would not be able to resolve the key issues involved in the demand made by the Maoists, feel the officials. The five-party alliance — the political force that is fighting for restoration of democracy — has stuck to its stand of not meeting Gyanendra separately.