wikileaks ico  Home papers ico  Cables mirror and Afghan War Diary privacy policy Privacy
Identifier
Created
Classification
Origin
05NEWDELHI6149
2005-08-08 14:48:00
CONFIDENTIAL
Embassy New Delhi
Cable title:  

MEA GRASPING FOR A PLAN B IN NEPAL

Tags:   PREL  PTER  MASS  KDEM  MOPS  IN  NP 
pdf how-to read a cable
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
						C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 NEW DELHI 006149 

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: DECL: 08/07/2015
TAGS: PREL PTER MASS KDEM MOPS IN NP
SUBJECT: MEA GRASPING FOR A PLAN B IN NEPAL

REF: KATHMANDU 1603 NOTAL

Classified By: PolCouns Geoff Pyatt for reasons 1.4 (B, D)



1. (C) Summary: MEA Joint Secretary (North) Ranjit Rae told
PolCouns and Poloff on August 8 that the "window of
opportunity" for reconciliation between the Palace and the
political parties in Nepal is closing, and MEA is looking for
new ways to increase pressure on the King. India was annoyed
by the July visit to Nepal of UN envoy Brahimi, and remains
concerned by reports that China and Pakistan may seek to fill
the arms supply gap to the RNA. The Indians argue that only
restoration of democracy can bring lasting stability to
Nepal. Post recommends we discuss coordinating with the GOI
our next measures to pressure the Palace to compromise with
the political parties. End Summary.

Window of Opportunity is Closing


--------------------------





2. (C) Rae lamented that the "window of opportunity is
gradually closing" in which the international community could
expect to turn King Gyanendra in a productive direction.
While India earlier thought the King could be persuaded to
retrace his steps to February 1, the latest developments in
Nepal indicate time is growing short. These indicators
included the appointment of scandal-ridden ministers to the
Cabinet (including one murderer), alterations to the Civil
Service, and the "Citizens for Democracy" protests on August
5, which drew "all of the intelligentsia of Nepal." If
agitation picks up in Nepal after the monsoons end in
September, as New Delhi expects, the Palace will turn even
more repressive, Rae predicted.

GOI Looking for New Ideas


--------------------------





3. (C) The GOI is looking "all the time" for new ways to
encourage the King to compromise with the parties, Rae
stated. However, there are many different views and
constituencies within the government, he said, so it would be
premature to discuss those ideas now. Other than a course
correction by the King, "I don't see how we can get out of
this mess," he complained.

India Irked by Brahimi Visit


--------------------------





4. (C) While admitting that the UN's involvement in Nepal
through the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
was helpful, Rae said the GOI was not enthused by UN envoy
Lakhdar Brahimi's recent visit to Kathmandu. He attributed
the visit to the Secretary General's motivation to show that
the UN was engaged in Nepal, and shrugged off a UN role in
resolving the impasse between the Palace, the parties and the
Maoists. He argued that Nepal was "not yet" on par with the
other international crises in which Brahimi had been involved.

King Seeks High-level Meetings to Confer Legitimacy



--------------------------



--------------------------





5. (C) Rae mentioned that Minister of State Rao Inderjit
Singh had repeatedly emphasized the GOI's desire to see a
return to democracy during his July Kathmandu visit, but the
Palace had pushed back, arguing that the imperative of
fighting terrorism necessitated the King's February 1
takeover. The Palace sees high-level meetings as a way of
cementing its legitimacy, and has already requested meetings
with the Indian delegation at the foreign minister level at
the UNGA and SAARC summits to be held in September and
November, respectively. However, Rae said, the GOI has not
yet decided how to respond, as the King used an April meeting
with PM Manmohan Singh in Jakarta to attempt to justify his
February actions. He added that India's special relationship
with Nepal makes outright rejection of these requests
difficult.


China, Pakistan, and Weapons: NIMBY


--------------------------





6. (C) India continues to receive alarming reports of
Pakistani and Chinese offers to supply weapons to Nepal, Rae
stated, specifying that the GOI has heard that several
Chinese companies including Norinco have offered letters of
credit for arms and ammunition purchases. MEA Joint
Secretary (East) Ashok Kantha called in the Chinese Embassy

SIPDIS
in July to request that China not permit arms sales, Rae
reported. However, the geopolitics in the region have
changed, he observed, and China is not as eager as it once
was to meddle in Nepal whenever previous kings "played the
China card." In the meantime, India's supply of non-lethal
aid valued at 150,000,000 Rupees (approximately USD 3.5
million) released in early July was almost completed, he
added, barring a few items held up at the border awaiting
excise duty exemption.

Comment: We Also Need a Plan B


--------------------------





7. (C) Our British and Indian interlocutors in New Delhi
have discussed the need to formulate a new approach to
convince the King that he must reach out to the political
parties before it is too late. The GOI clearly recognizes it
must do more, although what, precisely, remains for now
unclear to them. Rae noted that some in New Delhi are
pressing the GOI to "get real" and work with the King against
the Maoist threat, but added his view that such an approach
could not bring lasting stability. We believe the time is
ripe to discuss a coordinated approach with the GOI, perhaps
drawing on some of Embassy Kathmandu's suggestions (Reftel).
The recent US-India Democracy Initiative and the PM's
September visit to the UNGA might provide a useful platform
for us to reinforce our commitment to the restoration of
democracy in Nepal.
BLAKE