Kathmandu, Apr.25 : Ties between India and Nepal are unlikely to get off to a positive start with the coming of a Maoist-led coalition government in Nepal, as Maoist leader Prachanda has upped the ante and demanded the scrapping of the 1950 India-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty.
Prachanda told reporters here that several other treaties with India also needed to be revisited and reviewed, but added that he was all for a positive and constructive relationship with New Delhi.
Prachanda, who is a frontrunner to be Nepal's next Prime Minister, said agreements like the India-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty needed to be consigned to the dustbin of history, as it has been deemed to be unequal from a security relations point of view.
The Maoists, he said, are also likely to demand the scrapping, or the review of the 1996 Mahakali Treaty, which governs the sharing of waters of the Mahakali of Sharda River for irrigation and generation of hydel power.
He also ruled out immediate chances of the Maoists renouncing their arms, but added that reactionary violence would be halted.
The Maoists, who have won a general election in Nepal after remaining political pariahs since 1996, also want to stop a 200-year-old tradition of allowing members of their Gurkha community enrolling with the British and Indian armies.
Terming this practice as humiliating and mercenary, Pranchanda and other Maoist and Left leaders are of the view that the Gurkhas should serve the Nepal Army. They have promised to look after them economically.
The Gurkhas, on the other hand, continue to wrestle with a moral dilemma of choosing a life of dignity or a life which will ensure livelihood and sustenance.
Aqbout 3,400 Gurkhas serve in the British Army and 40,000 in the Indian Army. The Gurkhas also serve in Singapore's elite security service.
The Maoist insurgency in Nepal between 1996 and 2006 claimed the lives of over 13,000 people. The levels of violence dropped towards the end of 2005, with the Maoist leadership agreeing to have a political alliance and understanding with other parties in Nepal in a bid to replace the monarchy with a republic. That dream has now become a reality with the results of the April 10 Constituent Assembly elections.