Nepal Maoists Wrote to Vajpayee for Support in 2002

Shirish B Pradhan/Kathmandu
Nepal Maoists Wrote to Vajpayee for Support in 2002
At the peak of a raging insurgency in 2002, Nepal's Maoist leadership wrote a letter to the then prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in an attempt to garner support for their internationally 'outcast' outfit.

Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai has admitted that the then Maoist leadership had written to Vajpayee in June 2002, as well as to other international leaders.

The Maoists who led a decade-long armed movement against the monarchy were termed as "terrorist outfit" by different countries, including India and the US.

"The Maoist leadership had written letters not only to India but also to other countries including USA and China for receiving support to the party at a time when our organisation was termed as a terrorist outfit by a few countries," said Bhattarai's press advisor and senior Maoist leader Ramrijhan Yadav.

Bhattarai revealed this to a group of journalists who met him at his residence on Friday, according to Yadav.

The letter was sent through Brajesh Mishra, the then National Security Advisor to Vajpayee, and sought a better understanding from India to their cause.

"Yes, the letter was sent as part of our campaign to solicit international support," said Bhattarai talking to senior journalists.

"As I knew Prof S D Muni of JNU, it was sent through him to Mishra," Bhattarai told the journalists during the meeting, according to Yadav.

The Nepal Army was mobilised against the Maoists during that period.

A controversy arose within the Maoist party after co-author Prof S D Muni included this information in his book Nepal in Transition: From People's War to Fragile Peace.

Muni wrote in a chapter that the Indian government had relaxed restrictions on the movement and activities of the Nepali Maoists after top Maoist leaders Prachanda and Bhattarai wrote to the Indian Prime Minister promising they would not go against India's interest.

"Of course, India played a key role in bringing the Maoists into the peace process," said press advisor Yadav.

The Nepalese political parties and the Maoists had signed a 12-point deal to launch a joint fight against the monarchy in Delhi in November 2005.

It is that agreement which brought the Maoists to the political mainstream and ultimately saw them elevated to power in 2008.
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