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Pranab skirts queries on Nepal King's asylum

Source: PTI
April 18, 2008 20:58 IST
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Amid speculation that Nepal's King Gyanendra could seek political asylum in India, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee remained evasive about the issue on Friday, describing it as hypothetical.

"I do not know whether anybody has sought any asylum. It is a hypothetical question," Mukherjee said when asked by a reporter about the speculation that the monarch could take shelter in New Delhi, as Maoists have emerged victorious in the Nepal Constituent Assembly polls.

Reports have suggested that Gyanendra could come to India by using his family connections here.

Maoists, who were engaged in a decade-long armed struggle against monarchy before joining the political mainstream a year ago, have already declared that the 240-year-old monarchy will be abolished soon after the new government is formed.

Asked whether India had misread the situation in Nepal where Maoists emerged victorious, Mukherjee denied it and said New Delhi had "requested the Maoists to join the multi-party democratic political system in Nepal and join the mainstream by giving up violence. They have done so."

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