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Scrap India-Nepal Friendship Treaty, says Prachanda

Written by: Staff

New Delhi, July 3 (UNI) Declaring his intention to become the first President of Nepal, Maoist leader Prachanda has said time has come to scrap the 1950 India-Nepal friendship treaty.

''We should cancel this 1950 treaty and make a new treaty according to the new consciousness of our people and the Indian people,'' Prachanda told CNN-IBN in an interview.

Speaking on the Treaty of Peace and Friendship India signed with the Rana regime in 1950 that required both countries to consult and devise effective countermeasures in the event of a security threat to either country, Prachanda said a ''more scientific'' treaty was needed in the new situation.

''...so many treaties are not correct in this new changed situation,'' he added.

Prachanda praised the role played by India after the seven-party alliance and the Maoists launched their pro-democracy movement in Nepal. ''India's support was crucial. India played a big and positive role...'' He, however, said India made a ''very serious mistake'' when it was suggested to the King only to choose a Prime Minister and not to have any serious change.

''And the Nepali people rejected that suggestion. India should take a lesson from this kind of incident,'' he said.

Denying that he was targeting Indian investment, joint ventures and industries in Nepal, he said Indian investment was welcome, but it should be according to the theory of mutual benefit and necessity.

On Indian Maoists, he said the settlement of the problems in Nepal would send a strong message to them to come out with a new ideology. ''But if we dictate to them, it will not work.'' He said the Indian Maoists did not agree with their Nepalese counterparts on supporting multi-party democracy. ''I have made it clear that we want to discuss with them our understanding of this multi-party competition. What we can do is to settle the problem here in Nepal in a correct manner, then it will have a big message to our comrades in India.

Prachanda, who said the people would be ready to forgive King Gyanendra if he decides to resign from the monarchy, asserted that he would contest the Presidential election.

''If he (King Gyanendra) wants to resign from the monarchy, our masses will forgive him and he can stay as a common citizen here in Nepal,'' he said, adding if on the contrary the King insists on an ''autocratic Nepal'', he has no future in the country.

''Either he can flee or the people will not allow him to stay like this,'' Prachanda said.

He made it clear that the royal massacre was not a thing of the past and his party wants to re-investigate the conspiracy. ''That chapter will never close. History will time and again ask to investigate what actually happened.'' Prachanda admitted that there were differences between the seven-party alliance and the Maoists, but blamed the palace and the United States for conspiring to destabilise the ongoing talks to solve the problem.

Expressing concern over the delay in framing an interim constitution, he said the Maoists want a democratic republic with ''no role'' for the King. ''We will put forward this position strongly,'' he said adding the Maoists would meet Prime Minister G P Koirala to hasten the process of finalising the interim constitution.

Prachanda favoured a unified command for the Nepalese army and the militia with the Prime Minister as the Supreme Commander. ''This is a sacrifice because I am the supreme commander of from the People's Liberation Army (militia) and when there will be a unified command, I won't be the supreme commander, G P Koirala will be.'' he added.

He, however, ruled out any ''big role'' for any foreign country or ''even the UN'' in reorganisation of arms.


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