SOUTH ASIA INTELLIGENCE REVIEW
Weekly Assessments & Briefings
Volume 3, No. 42, May 2, 2005
assessments from SAIR can be freely published in any form
with credit to the South Asia Intelligence Review of the
South Asia Terrorism Portal
Guest Writer: Deb Mukharji
Former Indian Ambassador to Nepal, Bangladesh.
For the past week there have been statements, comments and
speculation on India's policy towards Nepal - more specifically
the present regime - which have not always been illuminating.
After his meetings with ('having received in audience',
as Kathmandu put it) External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh
and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on April 23 at the sidelines
of the Bandung Asian-African Summit at Jakarta, King Gyanendra
revealed that India had agreed to resume arms supplies to
Nepal. The Indian Prime Minister's guarded comment, that
the issue would be seen in the 'proper perspective', was
in keeping with the presumed confidentiality of his discussion,
but became inadequate in view of King Gyanendra's bald declaration.
Since then events have moved rapidly.
assessments, in the absence of any clear statement of position
by India, were that Delhi had agreed to resume arms supplies,
or at least unspecified quantities of those in the pipeline,
in return for assurances that the regime would permit Nepal
to return to the path of democracy. The alleged front-loading
of the understanding caused unqualified public dismay in
India as it became uncertain whether the King's regime would,
indeed, pursue any road map towards democracy. As seen from
Kathmandu, in an influential weekly: "As the defence and
foreign policy establishments in New Delhi locked horns,
there was confusion about who was really directing policy
towards Nepal. King Gyanendra came out of this looking like
he had run circles around the Indians and exposed their
rift. In addition, the Indian about turn on arms blew a
sizeable hole in the US-UK-India alliance on Nepal". Following
within days of the Jakarta meeting, a former Prime Minister,
Sher Bahadur Deuba, was arrested in the early hours of April
27, with a show of force clearly intended to demonstrate
the awesome authority of the state. Also arrested were other
senior politicians and activists. It cannot escape notice
that those arrested under the orders of the Royal Corruption
Control Commission or other devices were actively engaged
in trying to bring about a long-overdue understanding among
political parties to deal with the current political situation.
These arrests have elicited welcome statements from the
Indian Government, providing some measure of clarity. The
foreign office spokesman expressed concern at the widespread
arrests as "contrary to the assurances conveyed to us",
adding that "these developments would further complicate
efforts for a reconciliation between political parties and
the constitutional monarchy in Nepal". While expressing
his reservations about the arrests, the Minister for External
Affairs clarified in Parliament that the King had promised
to release prisoners, lift censorship, permit telecast of
Indian channels and gradually go in for elections. He just
Approaching the weekend, the Emergency in Nepal stands terminated.
There is considerable discussion and comment on the 'lifting'
of the Emergency, and perhaps an air of satisfaction that
this has been due to pressures exerted by India and others.
This is, at best, only partially true because, constitutionally,
the Emergency could not go beyond three months unless the
Nepali administration chose to be publicly defiant of internal
and international opinion and engage in convoluted constitutional
procedures, now more awkward in the absence of a Parliament.
It was thus 'expiry' rather than 'lifting' of the Emergency,
for which undue credit is being both given and taken. Kathmandu's
intent is not reflected in what could turn out to be only
a cosmetic measure, while harsh and restrictive steps are
taken by other means. Only the coming weeks can show if
there is any honest desire for dialogue and restoration
of the suppressed political processes and freedom of expression.
Any celebration of the ending of the Emergency is presently
The firmness of purpose and clarity of vision that India
has displayed in recent times in the pursuit of her national
goals and interests has the appearance of being less in
evidence with regard to Nepal. Dealing with neighbours is
always fraught. This becomes vastly more so when there are
numerous close associations at many levels of society and
layers of almost catechistic fervour and conviction. At
a time of grave national crisis in Nepal, it is important
that India's understanding and vision remain unclouded.
It is a measure of the closeness and goodwill that has traditionally
existed between the Indian Army and the Royal Nepalese Army
(RNA) that their Chiefs are Honorary Chiefs of the other
Army on a reciprocal basis. However, given reports of the
aerial bombings which could be killing innocent civilians,
as well as other indiscriminate measures in Nepal, one must
wonder if the Chief of the Indian Army would currently wish
to be so 'honoured'. A recent chief of the RNA was prone
to describing Nepal's relations with India and China as
being in the ratio of 60:40. One must also wonder how the
royal coup of February 1, carried out obviously with the
collaboration of the RNA, came as a complete surprise to
India. Further, the argument that the absence of material
assistance from India would bring other players into critical
prominence is one assiduously fostered by Nepal over the
years. In the past, Nepal has cultivated China, and even
Pakistan, to promote this illusion in India. But the facts
of life and geography point in quite a different direction.
As the Minister of External Affairs said in Parliament,
India has all the leverages in her unique relationship with
Nepal; only, these have not been used so far.
Whatever the social and economic causes of the Maobaadi
movement in Nepal, there cannot be much disagreement with
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's observation: "There is no
place for violence and extremism of any kind in a democratic,
rule-based society". But the emphasis here has to be as
much on 'violence and extremism' as on a 'democratic, rule-based
society'. And this aspect of India's policy towards the
current regime in Nepal seems often to be missing in the
debate over arms supplies. Over the past several years,
India has remained wholly committed to assisting Nepal in
combating the Maobaadi insurgency. The question must arise
whether it can continue to do so if the authority of the
state itself is taken away from the people of Nepal, and
where state sponsored brown-shirt equivalents seem no less
adept at terrifying and terrorizing than the Maobaadis.
It is understood by all that there is no military solution
to the problem and at the end of the tunnel light can only
come through negotiations. This can be credible, indeed
possible, only through the agency of the representatives
of the people. We must heed the muted voice of Nepali civil
society; as one commentator expressed it, "Nearly two months
after the royal take-over of 1st February, it becomes quite
clear that the regime change conducted by King Gyanendra
was an attempt to bring back authoritarian rule on the pretext
of tackling the Maobaadi rebellion".
It is true that, over the decades, India's relations with
Nepal have been considerably influenced by the interaction
and the inter-connectivity of feudal and political elites
and military connections. At the same time, there is in
Nepal, as indeed among our other neighbours, an undercurrent
of respect for India and the traditions she is supposed
to stand for, a strength India scarcely recognizes. With
regard to Nepal, it lies with India to show the way to the
international community. If she falters or sends conflicting
signals, it would be an encouragement to others to indulge
in their little games as well. It would alienate and dishearten
all those in Nepal who do not want regression. India's self-interest
must lie in promoting the interests of the beleaguered people
of Nepal. And these interests cannot even be addressed if
the state is taken away from them. Nor should India quite
forget the decades when 'anti-Indianism' was actively equated
with Nepali nationalism at a time when the democratic process
was buried in Nepal.
India cannot afford a Hamlet-like to-be-or-not-to-be attitude.
Indeed, the debate should be enlarged beyond the scope of
only arms supplies from India. It is important to stay the
course. Even in an age when compromises and making deals
in international affairs has primacy over principles, it
must be clear that India's actions at least serve the country's
national interests, which happen, here, to coincide with
those of the people of Nepal.
War and Peace
Guest Writer: Amir Mir
Senior Assistant Editor, Monthly Herald, Dawn Group
of Newspapers, Karachi
The American Commander of the US-led coalition forces in
Afghanistan, Lt. Gen. David Barno stated on April 18 that
terrorists were infiltrating into Afghanistan from Pakistan
and Islamabad had been asked to begin a fresh operation
against remnants of Taliban
presently hiding in the Waziristan region of Pakistan.
Peshawar Corps Commander Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain was quick
to dismiss Barno's claim on April 20, describing it as a
highly irresponsible remark: "Lt. Gen. Barno should not
have made that statement. It was a figment of his imagination.
There is no bloody operation going on until we have the
right intelligence", Safdar said, while ruling out joint
military operations with the US-led coalition forces, adding,
"My strategy is to achieve the end goal without firing a
The Peshawar Corps Commander's statement was followed by
Director General Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR)
Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan's rejoinder, claiming, "no such
military operation is being launched, and we decide for
ourselves what needs to be done and when and where". Barno
made his statement during a meeting of Tripartite Commission
of the United States, Afghanistan and Pakistan that was
held in Islamabad on April 18.
According to Pakistani media reports, the US General claimed
during the meeting that the remnants of Taliban and al-Qaeda
were planning to stage some high visibility attacks over
the next six to nine months, which would get them back on
the scoreboard after suffering major strategic reversals.
"The coming spring would therefore see a fresh operation
in North Waziristan to nip their planned offensive in the
bud", Lt. Gen. Barno was quoted as saying.
Ten days later, on April 28, Lt. Gen. Barno in an interview
to The New York Times (NYT) stated further: "The
Americans have been training Pakistanis in night flying
and airborne assault tactics to combat foreign and local
fighters in the tribal areas of Pakistan near the Afghan
border." Significantly, this was the first time the American
military acknowledged the training. Barno further admitted
that the presence of American troops in Pakistan was regarded
as extremely delicate, adding that he had visited the Special
Services Group headquarters of the Pakistan Army at Cherat,
near Peshawar recently, where he watched a display by the
units trained by the Americans in their new Bell 4 helicopters.
However, the NYT report also quoted ISPR Director Maj. Gen.
Sultan as saying that there were no American military trainers
at Cherat and that Barno had probably been referring to
joint military exercises between the two countries. He told
the newspaper in a phone interview, "The Pakistan Army has
been training with many countries of the world. We have
also been conducting joint military training with the US
Army many a time earlier. They benefit from each other's
experience. They learn from each other. That's what has
been happening, and nothing else." Yet, contrary to the
claims of the Pakistani Generals, the report stated that
the Pakistan Army was gearing up to go into the last redoubts
of al-Qaeda and foreign fighters - the tribal areas of North
Waziristan near the border with Afghanistan.
In all likelihood, Lt. Gen. Barno's statement was not a
'figment of his imagination'; he just made public something
General Safdar and his superiors did not want the Pakistani
people to know. The Pakistan Army has been fighting the
invisible enemy in Waziristan without much success, often
giving an impression of failure. Whatever the truth, statements
and counter statements by American and Pakistani Generals
clearly indicate that the troubles in Waziristan are far
from over. Since the military authorities have banned the
entry of newsmen into the region, nobody knows what is actually
going on in Waziristan. The only available source of information
is the ISPR spokesman, whose claims are always contested
by the Opposition and the media in public.
US intelligence sleuths stationed in Pakistan evidently
believe that the country continues to be a potential site
of militant recruitment and training, and al-Qaeda's 'operational
commander' Abu Faraj al-Libbi, presently hiding in Pakistan's
tribal belt, continues to hire local recruits to bolster
up his terrorist organisation's manpower, which continues
to grow in strength despite the capture of over 500 of its
operatives from within Pakistan over the past two years.
According to intelligence sources, most of the al-Qaeda
fugitives on the run from Afghanistan are being sheltered
by the heavily armed populace on the Pak-Afghan border,
where they are being trained in terror.
US intelligence findings indicate specifically that some
of the al-Qaeda training camps have already been reactivated
along the southeastern side of the Pak-Afghan border. These
reports further suggest that Osama Bin Laden, and his deputy,
Ayman al-Zawahiri, may also be in the region. Meanwhile,
General Pervez Musharraf also confirmed that Osama Bin Laden
is not only alive, but is residing in the Pak-Afghan tribal
area. "Osama is alive and I am cent percent sure that he
is hiding in Pak-Afghan tribal belt", stated during an April
22, 2005, interview with CNN. Similarly, Afghan President
Hamid Karzai and the American Special Presidential Envoy
and Ambassador to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, have repeatedly
alleged that terrorists continue to operate against Afghanistan
Lt. Gen. Barno's apprehensions that "the Taliban and al-Qaeda
can launch their big offensive from North Waziristan in
next nine months", consequently, appears to carry weight
and belies repeated claims by Pakistan that the Waziristan
area has returned to normalcy after successful Army operations.
As a matter of fact, the Peshawar Corps Commander, Lt. Gen.
Hussain, had declared in January 2005 that the 'back of
the terrorists has been broken' and that only a few of them
had survived, "roaming around in small batches". The Corps
Commander's statement came two years after the Pakistan
Army started operations in South Waziristan in January 2003.
The Army had to launch the operations after being alerted
by the Americans to the presence of Taliban and al-Qaeda
elements in the Waziristan region. Lt. Gen. Hussain had
further announced in January 2005 that out of the 6,000
foreign terrorists, 600 had already been captured and another
150 killed. He also admitted that, during the operations,
200 Pakistan Army personnel had been killed at the hands
of the terrorists.
The heavy losses suffered by the Pakistan Army eventually
compelled its High Command to suspend the military campaign
and pursue peace pacts with the local tribes. The first
such accord was signed at Shakai with Waziri warlord Nek
Mohammad in April 2004. Nek Mohammad reneged and was killed
by an American guided laser missile. The second agreement
was signed at Sararogha in February 2005 with Baitullah
Mahsud, the chieftain of the Mahsud tribe. The deal was
mediated by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur
Rehman, at a ceremony that ended with shouts of "Death to
America". Interestingly, the pact with Baitullah Mahsud
did not forbid Abdullah Mahsud, the most wanted fugitive
from the Mahsud tribe, from attacking the US forces across
the border in Afghanistan. Despite reports of his being
killed in a Pakistan Army ambush in February 2005, the fact
remains that Abdullah is still alive and remains the foremost
militant commander in the Waziristan area.
Interestingly, the Sararogha peace pact did not require
that Abdullah surrender the foreign terrorists allegedly
taking shelter with him; it simply bound him not to attack
the Pakistan Army and not give shelter to foreign terrorists.
It did not bind him to lay down arms or not fight across
the Durand Line. The man swears allegiance to Mullah Mohammad
Omar, the Taliban ameer (chief); he moves around
in a bullet-proof car and is followed by some 30 armed guards;
he owns two castle-like houses in North and South Waziristan.
As Abdullah Mahsud has apparently failed to honour his side
of the bargain, the Pakistan Army has once again been asked
by the Americans to launch fresh operations in its territory.
Earlier, Lt. Gen. Barno had declared, in February 2005,
after the signing of the Sararogha agreement with Baitullah
Mahsud: "The foreign fighters in the tribal belt had to
be killed or captured instead of being given amnesty through
so-called peace accords."
Interestingly, however, both the peace accords make no mention
of the Pakistan Army's previous condition that the tribal
militants must produce foreigners hiding in Waziristan and
ensure their registration. The Army's insistence on this
condition had led to the collapse of the Shakai agreement
signed between the Peshawar Corps Commander and 'Commander'
Nek Mohammad's militant group, in April 2004. The militants'
failure to produce the foreign militants hiding in the area
had triggered a new round of fighting that ended up in Nek's
death on June 19, 2004.
The February 2005 peace agreement took an intriguing turn
on February 8, 2005, with Lt. Gen. Safdar Hussain claiming
that tribal militants demanded Rs. 170 million during the
course of peace negotiations, and eventually settled for
Rs. 50 million to repay debts they owed to al-Qaeda-linked
foreign militants. The BBC quoted the Corps Commander as
saying that the four former wanted militants had insisted
they needed the money to pay back huge sums to al-Qaeda.
Haji Sharif and Maulvi Abbas received Rs. 15 million each,
while Maulvi Javed and Haji Mohammad Omar were each paid
ten million rupees.
The disclosure fuelled speculation that the Government had
been paying money to buy-off militants in South Waziristan.
However, Haji Omar, on behalf of the Wana militants, denied
the Corps Commander's claim and made it clear that he and
the four other militants had only been paid Rs. 4.2 million
by retired Colonel Inamullah Wazir and the Inter Services
Intelligence (ISI) officials who negotiated with him and
the other four militants on behalf of the Army, and this
amount was for rebuilding their houses that had been destroyed
during the military operations. "Each of us received around
Rs. 800,000. My brother Haji Sharif and I got a total of
Rs. 1.6 million, while our third brother, Noor Islam, who
wasn't part of the peace agreement, didn't receive any money.
This amount was far less than the losses we incurred as
a result of the damage suffered by our apple orchards and
demolition of our family houses plus a hospital in Kalooshah
that alone was worth more than Rs. 4 million," he added.
The ongoing 'war on terror' being waged in the Pakistani
tribal areas has clearly not been without its share of controversies,
charges and counter-charges. This was inevitable given the
difficult nature of the military operations and the enigmatic
relationship of the partners involved in fighting terror.
But the angry public exchange between the Peshawar Corps
Commander and the Commander of the US forces in Afghanistan
could easily have been avoided with a little discretion.
Given the strong public sentiments against the Bush administration
in Pakistan, especially in the areas bordering Afghanistan,
such controversies are bound to evoke strong public reaction
and embarrass the Government. These are, indeed, testing
times for the Pakistan Government, the Army, the security
apparatus and the people of Pakistan.
Mizoram: An Accord for Peace
Bibhu Prasad Routray
Research Fellow, Institute for Conflict Management
With the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
between the Mizoram Government and the Bru National Liberation
on April 26, the curtain has dropped on an eight-year-old
insurgency. More importantly, the INR 286.5 million financial
package that comes along with the MoU, paves the way for
the repatriation of nearly 40,000 Bru (also known as Reang)
refugees who had made six relief camps in the North Tripura
District their homes since their flight from Mizoram in
The fear of retribution following the killing of a Mizo
forest guard by suspected Bru miscreants had started the
massive exodus of Bru tribals, the second largest tribe
in the State, from the hamlets of Western Mizoram through
the Jampui Hills, and into the neighbouring North Tripura
District. Since 1997, they have been settled in six relief
camps in the Kanchanpur sub-division. The total number of
refugees has been a matter of contention. While the Mizoram
Government insisted that only about 10,000 were originally
from Mizoram, the number of refugees in the camps had reached
about 30,000 by 2001. Reports now suggest that the number
could be close to 40,000. For long, the negotiations had
foundered against the fact that the Mizoram Government was
willing to take back only the 'original inhabitants' of
the State, whereas the refugees insisted that all the inhabitants
of the relief camps needed to be repatriated.
The BNLF's potential for violence - rooted in the relief
camps and linked to the cause of the refugees - has never
been sufficient to be a cause for extraordinary concern
for Mizoram. Since its inception in October 1996, the high
point of BNLF's militant activity remained the June 30,
2000, ambush in which seven members of the anti-terrorist
Hunter Force of the Mizoram Police were killed and four
others injured along the India-Bangladesh border in Mizoram's
Mamit District. Since then, the outfit has been involved
in odd acts of abduction for ransom, mostly in the Cachar
District of Assam and the bordering areas of Mizoram.
The BNLF appeared to have started big and had even established
a camp in the Chittagong Hill Tract (CHT) region of Bangladesh,
but the group's attempts at forging ties with other organisations,
such as the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT),
died an early death. Following the signing of a 'Memorandum
of Understanding' between these two groups, the relations
between the Christian NLFT and the pro-Hindu BNLF quickly
soured. On July 9, 2000, nearly 70 cadres of the BNLF were
gunned down by NLFT militants in one of the latter's camps
in Bangladesh. The BNLF chief Surajmani Reang and his deputy
were taken hostage, and it took a while before they found
an opportunity to flee the NLFT camp. The BNLF could never
recover from this loss.
What dogged the three-and-a-half year old negotiation process,
which commenced on September 7, 2001, was the BNLF's insistence
on the creation of an autonomous structure of self-governance
in areas where the Brus were to return. From an autonomous
district council (ADC), the BNLF scaled down its demand
to a regional council. However, the Mizoram Government maintained
a principled stand, and refused to concede to the militants'
demands. The Government's patience appeared to have paid
off when, on November 28, 2004, Chief Minister Zoramthanga
claimed that the protracted peace talks with the BNLF had
reached a "decisive stage", with the group giving up its
demand for an autonomous council to administer the Bru-inhabited
areas of the State. He further said that the State Government
would require at least INR 300 million to properly implement
the rehabilitation package promised to the tribal community.
The State Government also linked the repatriation of the
refugees to the surrender of arms by BNLF cadres. The first
clause of the April 26 MoU achieved that. Even though the
MoU does not fix a timeframe, the entire 150-odd BNLF cadres
are expected to lay down arms within two months and would
then be rehabilitated in the Tuipuibari village of Western
Mizoram. According to reports, a sum of Rupees 23 million
has been set aside for the rehabilitation of the militants,
a fairly generous settlement for a group that has very limited
The success of the negotiation process was directly linked
to the growing frustration among Bru refugees. Unlike other
militant groups in the Northeast which have, over the years,
severed their ties with their original constituencies and
the causes that they represented, BNLF's existence and relevance
remained intrinsically linked to the issue of repatriation
of the Bru refugees and a financial package for them. Of
late, the groups had been facing difficulties in keeping
its flocks together, with an emerging challenge of the origin
of other militant groups such as the Bru Liberation Front
of Mizoram (BLFM) with an analogous agenda. It consequently
became necessary to 'seal the deal' even on a partial fulfilment
of their demands.
The MoU, initially to be signed in the first week of April,
had run into objections from an influential State students'
organisation, the Mizo Zirlai Pawl (MZP). The Government
had to defer the 13th round of dialogue amidst protests
from the MZP, which demanded an apology from the BNLF before
the eventual repatriation of refugees. The MZP also suspected
the BNLF's role in the kidnapping of a student, which the
militant group denied. The issue was, however, set to rest
with the public apology tendered by Surajmani Reang on April
26, in which he declared: "On behalf of the BNLF, I would
like to ask for forgiveness of the Mizo and Bru people today
for any wrongs that may have been perpetrated against them
by the BNLF."
The signing of the MoU will be a matter of personal satisfaction
for Chief Minister Zoramthanga. His critics at home and
outside had questioned his capacity to act as a peace broker
with other Northeastern militant groups - Zoramthanga, himself
an ex-militant, has been seeking a mediatory role in conflicts
in Nagaland, Manipur and Meghalaya - when he had failed
to solve the Bru issue in his own home State. Though the
new United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Government in New
Delhi does not attach much significance to his endeavours,
given his previous political leanings, Zoramthanga has reason
to be relieved at the settlement of this long-standing dispute
in his State.
Weekly Fatalities: Major Conflicts
in South Asia
25-May 1, 2005
data compiled from English language media sources.
Islamic state is the 'long-term
plan', says Jamaat-e-Islami chief: The
Jamaat-e-Islami chief, Matiur Rahman Nizami, stated on April
29, 2005, that the party has achieved its short-term goal of
coming into mainstream politics and asked party cadres to work
towards achieving the long-term programme of turning Bangladesh
into an Islamic state. Nizami said that the "party's short-term
goal is already achieved... Now we have to make progress in
achieving the long-term goal to turn Bangladesh into an Islamic
Age , April 30, 2005.
USA designates the CPI-Maoist
and ULFA as terrorist outfits: The United States has listed
left-wing extremist (also known as Naxalite)
outfit, the Communist Party of India-Maoist (CPI-Maoist), and
the United Liberation Front of Asom (ULFA)
as terrorist outfits. They have been mentioned in the list of
Other Selected Terrorist Organisations, released by the US State
Department in its 'Country Reports on Terrorism 2004' on April
27, 2005. U.S.
Department of State.
Seven persons sentenced to death in American Center attack
case: On April 27, 2005, a Special Court in Kolkata, the
capital of West Bengal, sentenced to death Aftab Ansari and
six others for the terrorist attack on the American Center.
Ansari and his six accomplices, convicted by the Court on April
26, were sentenced to death under Section 121 of the Indian
Penal Code for waging war against the State. They were also
awarded life imprisonment under Section 302 (murder) and given
seven years under Section 307 (attempt to murder). The death
sentence, however, is subject to confirmation by the West Bengal
High Court. They were accused in the January 22, 2002, attack
on the American Centre in Kolkata, in which four police personnel
were killed and 18 persons were injured. The
Hindu, April 28, 2005.
Mizoram Government signs Memorandum of Understanding with
the BNLF: On April 26, 2005, the Mizoram Government and
Bru National Liberation Front (BNLF)
signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The MoU is expected
to facilitate the repatriation of Bru refugees staying in six
relief camps in the neighbouring North Tripura District. According
to provisions of the MoU, the BNLF cadres will surrender along
with arms and come over-ground. Sentinel
Assam, April 27, 2005.
King Gyanendra lifts state of
Emergency: A statement released by the Royal Palace Principal
Secretariat on April 29, 2005, said that King Gyanendra has lifted
the state of Emergency as per Article 115 (11) of the Constitution
of 1990. The Emergency, declared on February 1, has been lifted
two days before its statutory expiry. Meanwhile, the King said
that world leaders have supported the steps he had taken against
terrorism. "In the Asian-African summit, we presented our stance
against terrorism and the leaders of friendly countries supported
us," the King told reporters at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
The King in a statement to the nation said that he got an opportunity
to exchange his views on the recent steps that he has taken against
terrorism in Nepal with the Chinese President Hu Jintao, Indian
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf
and UN Secretary General Kofi Annan. The
Himalayan Times, April 30, 2005.
Former Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba arrested in Kathmandu:
The Nepali Congress (Democratic) president and former Prime Minister,
Sher Bahadur Deuba, was arrested by security force personnel from
his residence in the capital Kathmandu on April 27, 2005. A day
earlier, the Royal Commission on Corruption Control (RCCC) had
summoned Deuba to appear before them within 24 hours to inquire
about a contract regarding the construction of a tunnel of the
multi-billion rupee Melamchi Drinking Water Supply Project during
his tenure. Deuba, however, refused to appear before the Commission
challenging its constitutional and legal status. The RCCC had
detained Deuba's colleague and a former minister, Prakash Man
Singh, who also refused to appear before it in the same case on
April 21. Nepal
News, April 28, 2005.
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