SM Krishna raises issue of anti-India activities with Prachanda

Last Updated: Friday, April 22, 2011 - 19:15

Kathmandu: India`s serious concerns over
Maoists` growing activities against it, including attacks on
its diplomats and threats to joint ventures in Nepal, were
on Friday raised by External Affairs Minister SM Krishna during
his meeting with the former rebels` chief Prachanda.

At the meeting, which came on the last day of the Indian
minister`s three-day visit to Nepal, Krishna conveyed New
Delhi`s strong security concerns.

After their talks, the UCPN-Maoist chief said he told
Krishna his party had no anti-India policy and asked New Delhi
not to view Maoists in that light.

However, he claimed that anti-Indian sentiments in Nepal
were due to New Delhi`s "interference" in its internal
affairs.

Krishna and Prachanda also discussed Nepal`s peace
process, Constitution-drafting and army integration.

Prachanda said he told Krishna that he had been trying
his best to forge consensus among political parties to
accomplish these tasks.

He said their meeting also covered issues like national
security and economic ties, with both sides highlighting the
need to maintain cordial Indo-Nepal ties.

Krishna later told reporters that he had a "free and
productive meeting" with Prachanda and "they exchanged views
on the peace process and various other relevant issues."

Prachanda assured him that he would cooperate with India,
Krishna said, adding the Maoist chief sought New Delhi`s
continued support to bring the peace process to a logical
conclusion.

He said that he raised the issue of anti-India rhetoric
with the Maoist leadership and told Prachanda that it is
necessary to respect the sanctity of diplomats.

When Indian ambassador Rakesh Sood recently visited
Kailali, Gulmi and some other districts outside Kathmandu to
hand over Indian-aided projects in the fields of education,
health and drinking water, local Maoist cadres waved black
flags, shouted anti-India slogans and tried to disrupt the
programmes.

In some places, where various roads and bridges were
constructed under Indian assistance, the Maoists defaced the
Indian national flag.

Ahead of Krishna`s visit that began on Wednesday, Maoists
also stormed a meeting of Indian infrastructure company
GMR, which is working on a hydropower project in Nepal.

Wrapping up his visit, Krishna said that India wanted to
see a peaceful, prosperous and democratic Nepal and voiced
confidence that this country`s peace process and Constitution-
drafting would be completed within the deadline of May 28.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 22, 2011 - 19:15

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