No move to send troops into Nepal: India

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New Delhi, Oct 9: India today debunked reports of any move to send troops into Nepal to help the government in Kathmandu rather than see Maoists seize power.

Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon, while commenting on the remarks made by a retired Indian Army officer that India might send troops into the neighbouring country, said the retired General's observations did not represent the views of the Indian government.

''Whatever the retired General said, it does not in any way shape the policies of the government. His opinion does not represent the views of the Government of India. He speaks for himself,'' the Foreign Secretary said at a press briefing here.

Maj Gen (Retd) Ashok Mehta had said in an interview with the souces that India would be prepared to give military help to the government in Kathmandu rather than see Maoists seize power by force.

Meanwhile, official sources said Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's special envoy on Indo-US civil nuclear deal and former Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran will visit Nepal for two days from tomorow on a fire-fighting mission to have parleys with political leaders, including the Maoists.

Mr Saran, who has served as an Ambassador to Nepal earlier, will have discussions with Nepali leaders on the latest political situation in the Himalayan kingdom and on the need for an early election.

The sources said India would like to see quick and early election in Nepal and was always of the view that it is upto the people of that country to take a stand. India's biggest fear is regarding any instability in its immediate neighbourhood, the sources said.

Disagreeing with reports that talks between Maoists and the SPA had ''broken up'', the sources said the talks were actually going on. The two were not in agreement over two issues--declaring Nepal a Republic and holding election on a proportional basis.

Elections in Nepal, earlier scheduled for November 22, were indefinitely postponed after an agreement was reached between various political parties. It was also decided to summon a special session of Interim Parliament to decide on various issues.

The sources stressed the need for a legitimate forum to decide on various issues. However, ''it is upto them...(the people and the political parties),'' they added.

''The level of legitimacy is from the people...Our biggest long-term fear is about any instability in Nepal,'' the sources added, calling for an early election.

Asked why were the elections postponed, they said, many political parties would have feared losses should they face elections. ''...hope they (Nepali leaders) draw lessons from the past. We will try and help them,'' the sources said, admitting that it was a difficult situation.


UNI

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