A Chance Encounter With a Maoist Commissar

It is notable that two years ago, before the ceasefire, the Maoists did not have any presence at all in Mustang due to the Royal Nepal Army’s occupation of a high foot suspension bridge below Ghasa that serves as the only entrance to the district below 5000 meters. Now the Maoists had a large visible office in Jomsom.

By Neil Horning

Six months ago I contracted a tropical disease that caused persistent diarrhea and severe weight loss which was misdiagnosed for about 5 months. My parents were planing on simply visiting me in Nepal, but when they met me I weighed 60 kilo, looked like a holocaust victim, and projectile vomited out of the taxi ride from the airport. So, they bought me a ticket to coax me home. I say this is to explain three things: Why I’m not in Nepal right now, the context in which the interview this article is about took place, and why I felt it necessary to shake hands with Prachanda. I suppose I’m a bit like Ambassador Moriarty. It’s something I wanted to do before I left the country.

Prachanda shaking Neil's hand

At any rate, I got my health sorted out, and I was trekking in Mustang with my parents when we came upon Sam. Sam is wearing the Che Guevara hat in this photo here: Continue reading A Chance Encounter With a Maoist Commissar


Benazir Bhutto May Have Been Killed by Terrorists But They Must Not be Allowed to Kill Democracy in Pakistan

Bhutto Assassinated in Attack on Rally: The Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated near the capital, Islamabad, on Thursday. Witnesses said Ms. Bhutto, who was appearing at a political campaign rally, was fired upon at close range by a gunman, and then struck by shrapnel from a blast that the government said was caused by a suicide bomber. (continue reading here)

Benazir Bhutto was a courageous woman who did not hide her ideas, did not know fear and served her country with courage. ISRAELI PRESIDENT SHIMON PERES

The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan’s democracy. Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice. US PRESIDENT GEORGE W BUSH

More than ever it is necessary for the [Pakistani] legislative elections to… take place in conditions of pluralism, transparency and security. FRENCH PRESIDENT NICOLAS SARKOZY

Benazir Bhutto may have been killed by terrorists but the terrorists must not be allowed to kill democracy in Pakistan and this atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world. UK PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN

In her death the subcontinent has lost an outstanding leader who worked for democracy and reconciliation in her country. INDIAN PRIME MINISTER MANMOHAN SINGH


(more international reactions)
Q&A: Benazir Bhutto assassination