M A I N   N E W S

Karan Singh to go as PM’s envoy to Nepal
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 18
Concerned with the fast deteriorating political situation in the neighbouring Himalayan Kingdom, India today decided to send a senior Congress leader and Rajya Sabha member, Dr Karan Singh, to Nepal tomorrow as the Special Envoy of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to convey a “firm” message to King Gyanendra for starting a “meaningful” dialogue with the political parties before the Maoists take control of the ongoing protest movement.

The decision to send Dr Karan Singh was taken after a detailed analysis of the situation in Nepal which included failure of the talks that the King had with the three former Nepalese Prime Ministers yesterday. Another factor which has influenced the decision were reports that the ongoing protest movement may turn violent, sources said.

Dr Karan Singh, formerly Maharaja of Jammu and Kashmir and who not only has ancestral links with the Nepalese Royal family but also enjoys credibility among the masses, will be joined by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran in Kathmandu. Mr Saran was India’s Ambassador in Kathmandu before he assumed charge as Foreign Secretary.

Talking to the Tribune, Dr Karan Singh hoped that the situation in Nepal would normalise soon and a dialogue for starting the process of normalisation will begin at the earliest.

The list of engagements of the Prime Minister’s special envoy is being worked out and it is expected that a meeting with King Gyanendra to persuade him to initiate a dialogue with political parties in the Himalayan kingdom materialises tomorrow.

Dr Karan is also going to meet political party leaders and discuss the situation there, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Navtej Sarna said here today.

Meanwhile, reports from Kathmandu said anti-monarchy protests persisted in the Nepalese capital as hundreds of people gathered in Kathmandu streets protesting against the King and demanding restoration of multi-party democracy.

Today is the 13th day of the protests, launched by the seven-party political alliance, which have crippled normal life in the capital bringing life to a standstill.

The choice of the Prime Minister zeroed in on Dr Karan Singh because he has an ancestral connection with the Nepalese Royals and has known the present King and his predecessors personally. His wife, Yasho Rajya Lakshmi, is the grand daughter of the last Rana Prime Minister of Nepal, Maharaja Mohum Shumsher J.B. Rana. 


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