Monday, January 1, 2001,
Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Nepal protests to India
Govt disowns Malkani’s remarks

Tribune News Service and agencies

KATHMANDU, Dec 31 — Nepal lodged a strong protest with India today over the remarks of an Indian ruling party politician, who said New Delhi should have accepted Kathmandu’s offer to accede to it in the 1950s.

“Nepal has lodged a strong protest with India through diplomatic channels over the alleged remarks made by Mr K.R. Malkani in an interview with India Today.Com,’’ Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister, Ram Chandra Poudel, told reporters.

Last week, Nepal witnessed anti-Indian riots over alleged remarks of Indian movie star, Hrithik Roshan, that he did not like Nepal or Nepalis. Four people died and scores were injured in three days of violence.

Roshan has denied making anti-Nepali remarks.

The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Ministry of External Affairs clarified that senior BJP leader Mr K.R. Malkani’s reported remarks on Nepal did not in any way reflect the views of the Indian government.

In an exclusive interview to India Today.Com, Mr Malkani, member of the party’s national executive committee, asserted that Jawaharlal Nehru ought to have accepted the accession of Nepal to India in the 1950s when it was offered to us by King Tribhuvan. Looking back at India’s rejection of the aforesaid offer, Mr Malkani said that it was a very serious and foolish mistake.

Commenting on Pakistani presence in Nepal, Mr Malkani said, “When we had no diplomatic relations with Pakistan after the 1971 war, Bhutto especially sent a very influential powerful man to Nepal. He told me that Nepal was now very important for us as an entry point because from Nepal anybody can enter India. Goods can come in, agents can come in, anybody can come in.”

Mr Malkani observed that the Pakistani presence was very strong in Nepal. “And probably Nepal thinks that they will be in a better position to deal with India if they have Pakistan’s support. Nepal should be careful as its pro Pakistan tilt is very short-sighted.

On the anti-India tirade, Mr Malkani said, “Some of the mistakes are on our side, some are mischief by other parties.”

Addressing mediapersons here on Sunday afternoon, the MEA spokesperson said, “We are merely stating on record very categorically that the remarks made by Mr Malkani do not in any way reflect the views of the Indian government.”


2 dead in firing

KATHMANDU, Dec 31 (AFP) — Two persons were killed today in police firing in southeastern Nepal while the homes of three leaders of the ruling party became the target of bomb attacks, officials said. At least two persons were killed and three injured in police firing at Raibirai, 275 km southeast of Kathmandu, when activists of pro-India Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP-goodwill party) were holding a demonstration.

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