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Tuesday, 5 June, 2001, 14:50 GMT 15:50 UK
India worried over Nepal crisis
Burning tyres in Nepal
Analysts believe instability could harm Indian interests
The Indian Government is closely monitoring events in neighbouring Nepal.


Nepal is geographically the forehead of India. Right now, it is giving New Delhi a terrible migraine.

Hindustan Times

The events of the last few days in Kathmandu have raised serious concerns about potential instability on India's northern border.

However, government officials quoted in one newspaper report said it was important for India not to act like a big brother, but to show understanding.

Sensitivities

In a reflection of the sensitivities involved, the Indian government has asked the press to show restraint on reporting incidents in Nepal.

India's former foreign secretary, M K Rasgotra, says adopting a low-key approach is a good move.

He told the BBC that recent developments are unlikely to have major adverse impact on relations because ties between the two countries are strongly rooted in history.


Anti-India forces... free to operate without any let or hindrance is not in either country's interest

Former ambassador Aravinda R Deo
But there are worries that anger on the streets following the royal massacre might translate into anti-Indian sentiment.

Last year, businesses owned by Indian nationals or Nepalese citizens of Indian origin were attacked by demonstrators in Nepal protesting against alleged derogatory remarks made by an Indian film star, who later denied he had made them.

Aravinda R Deo, a former Indian ambassador to Nepal, writing in the Indian Express, says India should make no secret of its wish for Nepal to continue with a stable parliamentary form of government.

'Anti-India' forces

Mr Deo says that instability in Nepal which left "anti-India forces ... free to operate without any let or hindrance is not in either country's interest".

Indian pm
Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee: Dismissed conspiracy theory
On Monday, India's Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, dismissed speculation about a conspiracy behind the royal murders and assured Nepal of his government's continuing co-operation.

Kalim Bahadur, South Asia professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in Delhi, says that the government is very worried.

"Any serious political crisis in Nepal will have repercussions in India. If things get worse and there is instability, we could see a problem," he says.

There has been concern that the current instability may lead to a rise in Nepal's Maoist insurgency.

Some of the Indian press have speculated that the possible strengthening of Maoist forces in Nepal may give China and Pakistan a strategic advantage against India .

But regional experts dismiss the idea.

Former foreign secretary, M K Rasgotra, says no country would want to get embroiled in risky political turmoil in Nepal.

And some Indian analysts believe that a rise in Maoist activity could actually strengthen co-operation between Nepal and India.


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05 Jun 01 | South Asia
04 Jun 01 | South Asia
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
02 Jun 01 | South Asia
04 Jun 01 | South Asia
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