Krishna raises issue of anti-India activities

Kathmandu: Anti-India activities by Maoists, including targeting of its diplomats and joint ventures in Nepal, were raised by External Affairs Minister S M Krishna during his crucial talks with the former rebels` supremo Prachanda here today.

Krishna, who is on a three-day visit to Nepal, conveyed his concerns to UCPN-Maoist chief Prachanda, against the backdrop of incidents targeting Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood and defacing of Indian national flag by Maoists.

When 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 had also stormed a meeting of Indian infrastructure company GMR, which is working on a hydropower project in Nepal.

During his meeting with Krishna, Prachanda told him that Maoists wanted to establish relations with India with a new basis, party sources said.

Krishna and Prachanda also discussed Nepal`s peace process, Constitution-drafting, army integration and India`s relations with UCPN-Maoist, they said.

The talks came a day after Krishna met Nepali Congress President Sushil Koirala and its Parliamentary Party leader Ramchandra Poudyal; CPN-UML standing committee member K P Sharma Oli and former Prime Minister and CPN-UML leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.

Koirala told Krishna that Maoists were not sincere about the peace process and the Constitution-drafting and peace process had been stalled due to their attitude.

Former premier Nepal, during his meeting with Krishna, said that a broad national consensus government with the inclusion of the Nepali Congress, Maoists, CPN-UML and Madhesi parties must be formed for the successful conclusion of the peace process in Nepal.

Krishna also met Nepal Army chief Chhatra Man Singh Gurung and asked him about the roadmap of the integration of the Maoist combatants into the national army.

The army chief emphasised the need for high-level political consensus for integration and rehabilitation of the former combatants.