American Diplomatic Cable: US Asks India- Did You Encourage Nepali Maoist to Hit US? India Says: NOOOOOOO

2003-08-05 09:42

S E C R E T SECTION 01 OF 02 KATHMANDU 001484

SIPDIS

DEPT FOR SA, SA/INS
NSC FOR MILLARD

E.O. 12958: DECL:08/05/03
TAGS: PREL PTER PGOV NP IN
SUBJECT: INDIAN NATIONAL SECURITY ADVISOR PLEDGES
TO COORDINATE WITH THE US IN CONTACTS WITH NEPAL’S MAOISTS

REF: A) KATHMANDU 1461 (NOTAL)

Classified by: Ambassador Michael E. Malinowski for
reasons 1.5 (b,d).

ś1. (S) Summary. According to the Indian Ambassador to
Nepal, India’s National Security Advisor Brajesh Mishra
has reaffirmed the Indian Government’s (GOI’s) policy of
synchronizing with the U.S. its tough talking points for
Nepal’s Maoist leaders. Mishra reportedly also pledged
that his Government, in its dialogue with the Maoists,
has never encouraged the militants to attack or to
threaten US interests in Nepal. End summary.

ś2. (S) Shyam Saran, Indian Ambassador to Nepal, called on
the Ambassador on August 4 to report on the results of
his promised efforts (reftel) to ensure that no agency of
the GOI was giving Nepal’s Maoists the impression that it
condoned attacks or threats on US interests here. Saran
said that in order to ensure that he received an
authoritative statement of GOI policy, undistorted by
possibly conflicting agendas of different foreign affairs
agencies, he went right to the top–talking by phone to
Principal Secretary and National Security Advisor Brajesh
Mishra.

ś3. (S) With evident satisfaction Saran reported that
Mishra had confirmed unequivocally that no agency of the
GOI has ever been authorized to make any statement
encouraging Nepal’s Maoists to attack or to threaten US
interests in Nepal. Mishra reportedly went on to say
that he had never felt that the US and India are
operating at cross purposes in our respective policies
toward Nepal and the Maoists. Mishra said he had made
this point repeatedly in his candid discussions at higher
levels of the USG, including with his counterpart, Dr.
Rice. Ranjit Rae, Joint Secretary for Nepal and Bhutan
in the Foreign Ministry, would be underscoring this point
to the US Embassy in New Delhi on behalf of Mishra, Saran
said.

ś4. (S) Saran went on to explain that the GOI would
continue to adhere to the basic talking points with the
Maoists to which he and the Ambassador had agreed. As he
expressed them, these points are the following:

— The nature of the GOI’s relations with the Maoists
would be determined by the actions of the Maoists
themselves. If the Maoists wanted to be treated by the
GOI as a legitimate political party they would have to
give up violence and terrorism.

— If, as all Indian intelligence now indicates, the
Maoists continue to engage in such criminal behavior on
Indian soil as gun running and cooperation with Indian
Naxalites, the Indian Government may attack them.

— If the Maoists are truly committed, as they say, to
multiparty democracy, they must end threats of violence
against their political opponents and provide a level
playing field for other parties to operate in areas where
the Maoists are active militarily. In particular, no
election to a constituent assembly (a persistent Maoist
demand) or any other body would be possible under the
threat of Maoist guns.

ś5. (S) Saran caveated the foregoing points by asserting
that his government had had no direct contact with the
Maoists in New Delhi. He said that reports that the
Maoist leadership, now in India, had sent a letter to the
GOI requesting its support for going back to war against
the Nepal Government had not been substantiated; no such
letter had been received by the GOI. He confirmed that
his DCM had had a single meeting with Baburam Bhatterai
in Kathmandu and “some of his folks” h
ad met with Maoist
spokesman Mahara. He added that Indian officials have
met on occasion with Maoist surrogates or “go betweens.”

ś6. (S) Comment. Amb Saran’s quick response to the issues
that the Ambassador had raised with him just three days
earlier (reftel) strengthens our high regard for him as a
sincere and cooperative colleague. However disingenuous,
his denial that his government has established a
continuing dialogue with the Maoist leadership is not
surprising given the sensitive nature of that dialogue.
The clear affirmation by the National Security Advisor
that the GOI wants to coordinate with the U.S. its overt
policy toward Nepal and the Maoists is good news, as is
his statement that the GOI is not encouraging the Maoists
to oppose US interests here. It is still possible, of
course, that lower-ranking officers of the Research and
Analysis Wing (RAW) have encouraged the Maoists to oppose
US activities and influence in Nepal without
authorization and without reporting these comments to
senior GOI officials. All this underscores how far we
have come in establishing a constructive dialogue with
the Indians on Nepal, and how far we have yet to go to
gain their full cooperation.

Malinowski

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