Nepal condemns Mumbai terror attacksNovember 27th, 2008 - 9:41 pm ICT by IANS
Kathmandu, Nov 27 (IANS) Stunned surprise, shock and disbelief reigned in Nepal Thursday as the Himalayan republic woke up to the news that terror attacks in neighbour India’s financial capital Mumbai had killed 101 people and left 287 injured.Nepalese Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda”, whose Maoist party had led a 10-year armed insurgency against the state before deciding to quit violence two years ago, led the pouring condemnation from Nepal, saying the carnage deserved worldwide denunciation.
“We are profoundly shocked at the unprecedented and brutal terrorist attacks in multiple places in Mumbai,” Prachanda said in a message to his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, whom he had met earlier this month at the BIMSTEC Summit in New Delhi.
“These attacks, directed against innocent people and intended to terrorise the industrial and commercial centre of India, deserve unequivocal condemnation from all over the world.”
The premier said that Nepal “unreservedly deplores in strongest terms these cowardly terrorist attacks” and expresses “full solidarity with the government and people of India at this hour of distress”.
The attacks in Mumbai were the talk of town in Kathmandu Thursday despite protests on the streets over the murder of a youngster and an upcoming election in parliament to choose a deputy chairman.
“My brother runs a small shop in Colaba,” said Prakash Pathak, who eight years ago fled from violence-racked Dang district in midwest Nepal. “In the past, when we had a war in Nepal, my brother would call up after hearing reports of guerrilla attacks to ask if we were all right. This time, we panicked for his safety.”
Tens of thousands of Nepalis work in Mumbai, ranging from tinsel town Bollywood to running businesses, in the armed forces, construction and hospitality sectors and even red light areas.
Nepal’s biggest private television station Kantipur reported that one of the people safely evacuated from the Hotel Taj was a Nepali employed as a chef’s assistant.
Nepal’s foreign ministry said it was trying to establish if there were any Nepalis among the casualties.
The terror attacks started on the day Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee left Kathmandu after a three-day visit with the assurance that an updated extradition treaty along with an agreement on mutual legal assistance in criminal matters that would also deal with transnational criminals would be signed between the two countries soon.
The Mumbai attack investigations are eventually expected to turn to Nepal too in the search of the plot masterminds with the possibility that the open border between India and Nepal could have been utilised by the terrorists to sneak in accomplices or arms.