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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

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Nepal besieged by Maoist Terrorists

 

Maoist terrorists announced an indefinite blockade of the Katmandu Valley and major cities from April 3. However, vehicles have been staying away from major arteries as terrorists torched a defiant truck in Southern Nepal. An independent radio station said that only auto rickshaws, ambulances, and some private cars are seen on the roads leading to India. While the Government promised to keep the roads open, it is an impossible task given the shortage of fuel, arms, trained soldiers, and the sheer size and nature of the terrain.

King Gnanendra announced an amnesty program where terrorists who surrender with their weapons are granted money, a pardon on their crimes, anonymity, protection from reprisals from former comrades, and jobs. Nepal seems to have learnt from the Indian experience in the North East, Kashmir, and Punjab.

 

However, India used these carrots after marginalizing the terrorists, encouraging a political dialogue, and rebuilding the local economy. In Nepalís case, Gnanendra is far from subjugating the terrorists, alienated the entire political spectrum, and does not have enough money to fund an economic resurgence. Therefore, this program is ill suited to Nepal at this moment.

During the visit of the US President George Bush to India, the two countries issued a joint statement advocating democracy and renunciation of violence. While India is compelled not to reject the Maoists because of domestic political compulsions from its communist allies, the US minced no words saying that they did not trust the Maoist agenda.

India will be the biggest loser if the Maoists over-run the Royal Nepal Army (RNA), as it will bring China to its doorstep without the current easement. Furthermore, the Maoists are already linking and training the Indian Naxal movement. With no RNA to engage, they will surely add more to their support infrastructure to their Indian version that is creating a rot of the nation from the inside.

Indian Naxal terrorists hijacked a train in Jharkhand for 12 hours but did not harm any of the 100-odd passengers within. Travelers say that two youth pulled the chain in a densely forested area so the terrorists could commandeer the train. Terrorists jumped the driver and security guard confiscating their walkie-talkies and cutting off all communication. The terrorists retreated when security forces arrived to take over the train. This is the first time that any group has taken over a Government run entity in a non-disturbed area like Kashmir.  

India is already losing the diplomacy war where China and Pakistan have stepped in to help Gnanendra when India has even refused to see the King. While Indian intentions may be honorable to want the restoration of democracy, the broader compromise of regional security is something that it cannot afford.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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