Yet another symptom of India’s confused policy on Nepal
Prakash Karat, a leader of India’s overground Communist party recently met Baburam Bhattarai, a leader of Nepal’s underground Maoist rebel movement (via India Uncut). The Times of India that first broke this story reported that India’s intelligence agencies helped bring about this meeting.
An Indian member of parliament just met a leader of a terrorist organisation. Ironically, the same MP leads a party that supports a government that recently resumed military assistance to the Nepalese army that is battling the Maoists. The Karat-Bhattarai meeting suggests that the Indian Communists are attempting to run their own foreign policy, one that contradicts the official foreign policy of the government that they support.
Overground they may be, but India’s Communists are certainly not above board. Providing ‘moral, diplomatic and political support’ to terrorists across borders is no longer fashionable. While India’s Communist parties are entitled to their opinions and policy stands, it is altogether a different matter for them to reach out to their ideological brethren in Nepal. If they do so, or worse, drag India’s intelligence agencies into their machinations, they will be guilty of far greater crimes than just stalling India’s economic reforms.
So far, the Manmohan Singh government has stumbled along in its handling of the Nepal crisis. While it has repeated tired formulations on what it would like to see in Nepal, the Indian government’s contradictory moves have done nothing to dispel the perception that its Nepal policy is in a shambles.