NEIGHBOURS The WikiLeaks Message

Cables that bared open a secret could be a guide to the turn Nepal’s painful political transition may take<br><P>SUSHIL SHARMA</P>

Dec. 20, 2010, 5:45 p.m. Published in Magazine Issue: Vol.: 04 No.-13 Dec.17-2010 (Poush 02,2067)

The Wikileaks disclosures have not caused a tremor in Nepal as yet.The two thousand US embassy cables, said to be in the Jullian Assange-owned website’s possession, have not found their way to the
media yet.

Some cables concerning the two big neighbours have however created a ripple.In one of them the Indian external affairs secretary, Nirupama Rao,talks about how the Indian funding of the Nepali Maoists did not bring the desired results.

In talks with US special envoy, Richard Holbrooke, she observed that it had failed to bring in the Maoists in Nepal and was likely to fail for similar reasons in Afghanistan. (see box)

Coincidentally, one senior Indian official accompanying secretary Nirupama Rao in talks with the US envoy was an experienced Nepal hand.

Joint secretary Gayatri Kumar was a senior diplomat in charge of political affairs in the Indian embassy in Kathmandu when the Maoist insurgency was peaking.

That the former rebels did get foreign funding, logistics support and training had long ceased to be a secret, notwithstanding the much publicized “home-grown revolution” tag to the ten-year bloody

But, that the world’s largest democracy failed to buy the loyalty of the champion of the one-party authoritarian outfit is a revelation.

What remains to be revealed is the time frame the Indian external affairs secretary was talking about.  Was Rao referring to “the ten years” of insurgency? Or was it a reference to bringing the
“nationalistic” Maoists to the peace process through the 12-point Delhi deal which her boss, Pranab Mukherjee, in an Al Jazeera interview, had claimed to have facilitated?

The latter is more likely, say those in the know.

More WikiLeaks disclosures will possibly raise the curtain up.  And bring the curtain down on any move to “engage” the “unreliable rebels” who would neither renounce violence nor give up anti-India rhetoric.

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