Deep Raj Sanyal: Delhi Talks And Trappings
Delhi Talks And Trappings
By Deep Raj Sanyal
Last week saw a flurry of activities taking place in New Delhi, the capital city of India, our southern neighbour. The activities there revolved around the high level talks leaders of the CPN-UML and Nepali Congress had with the Maoist appratchick staying in the Indian capitol. Later, the United States Ambassador to Nepal James F. Moriarty also flew in to New Delhi to hold consultations with the Indian diplomats and the US envoy to India about the political scenario here in Nepal and 'possibly' the unfolding high level talks between the Seven Party Alliance and the Maoists.
According to newspaper reports, Ian Martin, the representative of the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights-Nepal (OHCHR-Nepal) and Samuel Tamrat, special advisor to the UN Secretary General were also in the Indian capital around the same time possibly for the same reason.
On November 16, Wednesday, CPN-UML General Secretary Madhav Kumar Nepal made a dramatic journey to the Indian capital, four days after he wound up his stay in India with his party friends. Although the CPN-UML strongman said that he was in New Delhi for the second time for medical check up, he is learnt to have held a lot of hectic parleys with Nepali Congress president Girija Prasad Koirala, who was already there and a host of Indian leaders and politicians.
It may be recalled here that Nepali Congress president Girija P.Koirala and CPN-UML General Secretary Nepal had both said that the primary purpose of their visit was for undergoing medical examination but both of them also took the opportunity to participate in a string of meetings and 'consultations' with Maoist emissaries, Indian leaders and foreign diplomats.
The agenda of these meetings was said to be to reach a tripartite understanding amongst the western powers and India, the Nepali political parties and Maoists. On the same day, Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran was reported in the media to have said that his country has been carefully monitoring the situation in Nepal, while remaining in contact with 'all the actors' in Nepal's political crisis.
"The stakes for India [in Nepal's crisis] are extremely high. So we are carefully monitoring the situation," newspapers here quoted the Indian Foreign Secretary as telling at a programme in New Delhi. Saran's remarks carry weight and they are surely laden with meaning.
While the people back in Nepal were in darkness about the going-ons in New Delhi which were directly related to their and their country's political future, the Indian capital became the veritable hot bed for debating Nepal's political course. After all, India has been playing host to these high-stake meetings between the political parties and the Maoists.
Even at the time of writing, no word regarding the details and agenda of the meetings held in India between the Nepali leaders and the Maoists have come out. The Maoists are yet to respond to the recent talks held between them and the two powerful leaders of the so-called seven party alliance and what transpired between them in the talks.
Thus, the people are still in the dark and the leaders of the seven party alliance and the Maoists owe a degree of accountability to the Nepali people on this matter. While the details of the dialogue and the Maoists' commitment to multi-party democracy, the rule of law and constitution are eagerly awaited, it is the general expectation of the common man that the outcome of these parleys has to be in the interest of the nation and it should not be at the cost of Nepal's sovereignty and national dignity.
Moreover, there are doubts whether this purported 'agreement for alliance' between the Maoists and the seven party grouping, minus the state, holds any water. Any agreement without having the participation of the State side, which is a key player of the political equation in the country, would have no meaning. Hence the need for the incorporation of the state too in this equation which has been reached in the Indian capital for tangible results.