Nepal fights shy of naming new envoy to India

February 12th, 2009 - 4:45 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Feb 12 (IANS) While naming new envoys for the US and Europe, Nepal’s Maoist-led government is still fighting shy of appointing a new ambassador to India despite claims by the former guerrilla party that it has chosen a former revolutionary for the key post.
On Wednesday, the government of Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda announced new ambassadors to the US, Britain and Germany.

However, though the party says it has chosen its senior leader Ram Karki, who was known as Partha Chhetri during the underground days of the insurgency, to be the new ambassador to India, the government remained silent on the matter.

On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav said career diplomat Suresh Prasad Pradhan, who is also the current spokesman at the Foreign Ministry, has been named ambassador to Germany.

Shuka Dev Shah and Ram Swarup Raya, who will be the new ambassadors to the US and Britain respectively, are reported to be the nominees of two leading parties, the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist and the Madhesi Janadhikar Forum.

That seems to pave the way for the nomination of Karki as the new ambassador to India since the ruling parties have an agreement to share the key ambassadorial appointments.

Ironically, Karki, a 50-year-old political scientist, had been arrested by India in New Delhi seven years ago and handed over to the Nepal authorities.

During the civil war, Karki, in charge of the Maoists’ foreign affairs division, was mostly based in Sikkim, West Bengal and New Delhi.

Last year, the Maoist government recalled several ambassadors, including the envoy to India, Durgesh Man Singh, who was appointed by the earlier Girija Prasad Koirala government.

During Koirala’s tenure too, the appointment of the ambassador to India had been delayed due to infighting.

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