Sending Gorkhas to Iraq

Quid pro quo

When Washington approached Nepal – and 19 other countries, including neighboring India – with a specific request last August, a cabinet minister in King Gyanendra’s hand-picked government made a public announcement at an interaction with media persons. “It is under consideration,” said the minister, Kamal Thapa, hinting that the chance of it being declined was remote.

Indeed, Nepal immediately dispatched two army officers to Florida in the US to pave the way for the eventual deployment of Nepali soldiers in Iraq. [Asia Times]

Nepal was hoping to get US support in its struggle against Maoist rebels. Both India and China are wary of American involvement in Nepal, and King Gyanendra needs to play his cards very carefully indeed.

1 thought on “Sending Gorkhas to Iraq”

  1. An ardent follower of Nepalese events, I’m highly circumspect about the intentions, nay even the character of the present King as compred to the one he replcaed under tragic circumstances. A man so hell bent on amassing and retaining power he could easily rival Musharraf!), he classically plays the fiddle while Rome is burning. All his actions, obstinate stalemate with the major political parties, refusal to allow the army a carte blanche in the remote Humlaand Rolpa districts, plain refusal to share power with an elected parliament – all point ominously towards impending instability.
    India, easily the most important and leverage-heavy player in the region, is being perhaps overgenerous in pursuing a “non-interference and polite distance” formula and in not aggressively demanding reform and purposeful action.
    Nepal, the wotld’s only hindu country is unique and deserves peace, prosperity and happiness. We in India are doubly obliged to help in every way we can. History shows that loyalty to King and not country has doomed many a dynastic court.

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