Shyam Saran, Nepal expert, Quits Indian PMO

Saran’s exit marks the departure of the last Indian player in the Indian establishment who was behind the ground-breaking 12-point agreement that initiated the process of ending conflict in Nepal

By Dinesh Wagle in New Delhi
The Wagle Notes

shyam saran with nepali officials
Shyam Saran as India’s ambassador to Nepal with Nepali officials in Kathmandu in 2004. Pic by Bikas Rauniar

Shyam Saran, former ambassador to Nepal and the man who once played a crucial role in Nepali peace process has on Friday (yesterday) announced resignation from the post of Indian Prime Minister’s Special Envoy on the India-U.S. nuclear deal and climate change. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) accepted the resignation to be effective from March 14.

Despite holding a position that has little to do with Nepali politics Saran is said to be providing his inputs on India’s Nepal policy informally because of his deep understanding of the Nepali politics. He hasn’t publicized the reason for resignation but news reports have speculated that he fell out with India’s pro-active Environment minister over India’s approach to international climate change negotiations. Some reports say he was unhappy with the latest development at the PMO that saw Shiv Shankar Menon, a former foreign secretary three years junior to him, elevated to the post of National Security Adviser to the PM with Minister of State status. Whatever the reason, Saran’s exit marks the departure of the last Indian player in the Indian establishment who was behind the ground-breaking 12-point agreement that initiated the process of ending conflict in Nepal.

Six years ago when India announced Saran, the then Indian ambassador to Nepal, as its new Foreign Secretary many in Kathmandu had become happy thinking that the man who understood Nepal well reached the top bureaucratic position in South Block (the building that houses the Indian Foreign Ministry). Nepal saw a royal coup six months after Saran assumed the post on 31 July 2004. A few months later, agitating political parties and the Maoists signed the 12-point agreement in New Delhi with Saran’s active participation. Based on the agreement, the parties waged the historic 2006 People’s Movement that finally made the nation a republic. Referring to the 12-point agreement, Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee last year (as Foreign Minister) claimed credit for bringing the Maoists into mainstream politics in Nepal.

Saran believes that Maoists shouldn’t be marginalized and the peace process should be taken forward by bringing all political parties together. But in recent months, particularly after the unexpected results of Constituent Assembly in Nepal that saw the Maoists emerge as the largest party, the Indian establishment seems to have put that view on the back-burner. It could just be an interesting coincidence from the Nepali perspective that Menon who played a direct and indirect role to oust Maoists from the government in Nepal has become the adviser to the PM on foreign affairs while Saran who played a role to forge the 12-point agreement is ousted after losing the battle with Menon.



6 responses to “Shyam Saran, Nepal expert, Quits Indian PMO”

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  2. Pant,Dibakar,MN Avatar

    Shyam Saran’s doctrine not to help building strong and stable neighbouring nation,Nepal but to make strong and develop only parts of Nepal connected to Bihar and utterpradesh,indeed,
    weakening Nepal.The result of 12 points Delhi agreement has been clearly showing these days in which Mr.Saran beleived to have played key role.So,his departure from Delhi’s strategical centre would certainly to the very extent be somehow benefited Nepal in the days to come.Those whoever playing a foul-play to devide Nepalis needs to be timely identified so that the evil intention of the same could be foiled before it takes its real position.So,All Nepalis regradless of cast,creed,tribe,language,
    colour,ethencity and region need to be fully alerted about the visible and invisible dirty game to destroy this great nation.Its unfortunate to see and found most of the so called great leaders in practicing slave mentality for the petty causes,so this too also needs to identified in time for not further damage of nation and people. Jay Nepal !

  3. Dirgha Raj Prasai Avatar

    Dear editor,
    The reality is that the main cause of crisis in Nepal was the notorious activities of Shyam Saran. Actually, he is as a monster who was interested to destroy the unity & nationality of Nepal. The Delhi 12 point agreement 2005 has been the major cause of creating the crisis and disintegration. Now, Nepalese Maoists, RIM and COMPOSA have joined hands for one-party anarchist-Communist rule.

    That is not the joke for Nepal and India. The Nepalese and Indian leaders could not understand the grand-design of the Maoists. The Maoists are going to establish anarchism in Nepal. Maoists used to claim to be nationalist. But they are completely exposed by their confused and non-political activities. All of this was started by the Delhi 12 point agreement in 2005.The so-called People’s movement II which was guided by India, had two vital agendas – Republic and Secular state. Without analyzing the assumption, the some Indian leaders supported the Nepalese Maoist’s hypocrisy. I am sorry to write that it was a great blunder by Indian diplomats – Shyam Saran, Sive Shankar Mukharejee and other officials who not only blundered in their assessment of the Maoists but also did much harm to Indian’s interests in Nepal. We hate such culprit diploments. Now such diploments and Indian politician have become the cause of terorrism in Nepal and India. We should understand the proverb in politics -‘Crows are never the white for washing.’ Then, why not the
    Maoists’ acts were aimed at creating anarchy in the country and disturbing peace ? It is my request, Indian Govt. should punish such monster-diploments.

    Nepal has been facing a series of problems due to the mistake of abolishing the royal institution. History says and everybody knows the monarchy is a symbol of Nepalese unity and democracy. An irresponsible leadership in the government, the corrupt mentality of political leaders as well as the bureaucrats, all are responsible for the plight of Nepal. The government or the so-called big parties are neither responsible nor sincere in solving these problems.The so-called founders of the Republic Nepal made us ashamed before the world.
    The power mongers, opportunists, corrupt, ethics-less, kidnappers and killers are now the advocates of the so-called new Nepal – Federal Republic Nepal. The democratic powers like USA, European Union, UNO and others are not sounding against the undemocratic attitude in Nepal.
    So, the only way to stop more bloodshed and to save democracy is by re-establishing constitutional monarchy and strengthening parliamentary democracy.
    That is all.

    Thank you.
    Dirgha Raj Prasai

  4. communicat Avatar

    He is in the delicate position to communicate his own countries indifference to our collective reality.
    Yes with predominant maoist ‘sympathies’in the nepalese republic and maoist predominant antipathies though not so simple as that he is walking a fine line.
    There is a part where God will judge us and mud can be washed of anyones eyes. With the actual security issues in India and so on one could easily see how they make time for us, but hey what if Nepal becomes a Maoist state.
    Now you may think this is good for Nepal.
    Many many nepalese are not at all convinced of this.
    The only real nightmare is Sri Lankha, Afghanistan, Irak.
    All have gorgeous mountains, lakes, so does Tibet.
    Why do I get the feeling this is not just about self determination? Nepal is paralyzed since how many years, littlerally no one hangs in there all without a single exception left the nation.
    There are no show models, not USA or any of them. But there are night mare models, bear in mind that even Obama will send his help me god troups to kill our farmers.
    I think wisdom is not mao not extreme right and you could sell that to INDIA and their arms.

  5. corby 2 themes Avatar

    Abnormally well written writing!!

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