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Rediff.com  » News » India urges Nepal King to restore democracy

India urges Nepal King to restore democracy

By V Mohan Narayan in Kathmandu
April 20, 2006 17:10 IST
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India on Thursday told King Gyanendra that there was need for a genuine dialogue between Constitutional forces in Nepal for urgent restoration of multi-party democracy as the current situation was a matter of 'deep concern.'

As hundreds of pro-democracy protesters defied the curfew and took to streets, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Special Envoy, Karan Singh, met the King at the Narayanhity Palace. He gave the King 'certain' suggestions for resolving the political crisis and offered all assistance.

"We have made certain suggestions and the ball is in his (the King's) court," Karan Singh, who was accompanied by Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran, told reporters after the meeting lasting about two hours. The meeting came in the wake of the deteriorating political and economic situation following a surging pro-democracy movement.

A statement issued by the Indian embassy said the discussions revolved around the need for a 'genuine dialogue' between the Constitutional forces in Nepal with the objective of urgently restoring multi-party democracy in the country in order to overcome the crisis that Nepal is faced with.

Karan Singh conveyed to the King India's readiness to support all efforts towards restoration of multi-party democracy. He emphasised that a lasting solution to Nepal's problems had to be found by the people of the country through a peaceful political process.

The statement said the current political developments in Nepal were a cause of 'deep concern' to India and other members of the international community. The meeting was held in a cordial atmosphere, the Nepalese TV said, adding that issues of bilateral interest were also discussed in the meeting.

Singh also held a meeting with former Nepalese prime minister Surya Bahadur Thapa on Thursday. The envoy had on Wednesday met two other former prime ministers -- Girija Prasad Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba.

The Royal Government imposed an 18-hour curfew in the capital from 2 am on Thursday morning and issued shoot-at-sight orders to prevent a mass rally, marking the beginning of the third week of the general strike called by Opposition parties to force the King to restore democracy.

Complete Coverage: Nepal

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V Mohan Narayan in Kathmandu
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