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Sunday, July 26, 2009

China Fear Prompts India to resume Defense Support

Instead of protest came as it did from the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the Maoists, India has heeded to the fervent request made by the non–Maoist government of Nepal to lift the self-imposed bar on arms supplies to Nepal summarily ignoring the Maoists reservation.The Telegraph India online edition claims quoting Indian defense ministry sources that “India will resume its cheap sale of rifles and ammunition to Nepal”.“India would resume supplying Insas rifles with required ammunitions, reactivate the disrupted joint training programs and recruitment of the Gorkha soldiers from Nepal into the Indian Army…shelving all the reservations raised by the Maoists”, writes the Indian media. “The decisions were conveyed to visiting CA Election defeated Nepal's Defense Minister Bidya Devi Bhandari who met defense minister A.K. Antony of India”.To add, earlier in the year 2005, August, Nepal Army had blamed India for supplying substandard Insas Rifle and claimed that the majority of the deaths of Nepal Army men in Pili area while fighting with the then Maoists rebels were due to the mechanical failure of the Rifle. However, the Nepal Government’s decision to buy the substandard and second hand Insas Rifle is shrouded in mystery thus, say experts. It was also reported earlier that India had supplied almost third class Insas rifles to the Nepal Army.The Telegraph India also claims that, “Officials in the Indian security establishment noted with concern the growing influence of China in Sri Lanka after India turned down requests for firearms to the island nation”. “An expansion of Chinese influence in Nepal after the Maoists have gained legitimacy is strategically undesirable for New Delhi”, the Indian media claims.
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Indian arms will imperil peace: former Nepali PM
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Former prime minister and chairman of the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (UCPN-M) Prachanda has strongly objected to the government's request to India to resume the supply of arms, which had been put on hold since the February 2005 royal takeover, local newspaper The Kathmandu Post reported on Thursday. "If Defense Minister Bidhya Bhandari makes a deal with India to resume arms supplies while the peace process is still on, it will effectively imply that the peace process has come to an end," the newspaper quoted Prachanda as saying on Wednesday, "This could lead to bloodshed in the country and the current government will be responsible for untoward incidents that could follow." The former prime minister said so commenting on the possible resumption of arms supply from New Delhi. During a meeting with her Indian counterpart A.K. Antony and Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna in New Delhi, capital of India, on Tuesday, "Bhandrai had asked for resumption of arms assistance to Nepal," according to the report. "The Indian ministers had assured that India was ready to assist Nepal as per the country's needs," the report read. "I asked them to continue assistance in the military sector in the same way as they are helping us in health and education," Bhandari told The Kathmandu Post in New Delhi on Tuesday. Also on Thursday, state-run newspaper The Rising Nepal reported that Energy Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat on Wednesday said the government would import arms if it deemed it necessary for the security of the country. "Import of arms depends on the need of the country and the government will take a decision considering the security situation of the country," Minister Mahat said speaking at the Reporters' Club Nepal in capital Kathmandu. "He, however, clarified that no decision had been taken so far to bring in arms," the report said. UCPN-M central leader Top Bahadur Rayamajhi, on the same occasion, countered Minister Mahat saying the government activities invited confrontation in the country and could sabotage the ongoing peace process.

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