United States and India have decided to call King Gyanendra’s bluff of seeking military aid from China and Pakistan by asking both Beijing and Islamabad not to fish in troubled waters and explaining to them the reasons behind suspension of military hardware to Kathmandu.
Official sources told The Sunday Express that James Moriarty, US envoy to Nepal, told his Indian counterpart Shiv Shanker Mukherjee that Washington had asked both Pakistan and China not to provide any military assistance to Kathmandu which was stopped by the international community after the February 1 royal coup.
This message is being replayed by visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in Beijing and Islamabad.
India, on its part, took up the issue through diplomatic channels with both countries. It’s learnt that New Delhi sought cooperation from Beijing and Islamabad after explaining to them the background to the suspension of military aid to Kathmandu.
Official sources said that China and Pakistan have responded positively to the advice that they keep out of the political flux in the kingdom.
Although outgoing Pakistan Ambassador to Nepal Zamir Akram, brother of old India-baiter Munir Akram, offered military supplies to Kathmandu this month, the message from US to Pakistan was clear: stay away, don’t try to fill the military aid vacuum.
On the China front, the position will get clarified further when Foreign Minister Li Zaoxing visits Kathmandu on March 31.
The idea behind this whole exercise is to make it clear to the King that the international community’s resolve is one: He has to retrace his steps and restore multi-party democracy.
US, UK and India have taken note of King advisor Tulsi alias Peter Giri’s statement. The gist of it was that the King was Nepal’s boss and major international players had very few options except to come out in his support.
But New Delhi’s stand is firm. Shiv Shanker Mukherjee, who met External Affairs Minister Natwar Singh, Defence Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Home Minister Shivraj Patil and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan, will be returning to Kathmandu tomorrow. Although he could not meet the PM, the message that he will carry will be straight, simple: the international community will not blink on Nepal even if the ‘‘bogey’’ of China and Pakistan is raised.