NEW DELHI: There is a lot of scepticism regarding of the fate of Nepal’s peace process among Indian scholars.
Prof PR Chari, scholar at Indian Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS), said there was uneasy peace in Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka and domestic situation could play the spoiler in those countries.
Speaking at a seminar organised by IPCS on ‘Armed Conflicts in South Asia,’ Chari cautioned that the Peace process had always followed a convoluted path in the region. Reviewing the Armed Conflicts in South Asia (ACSA) process and ACSA Overview 2012, he said non-traditional methods and non-state actors were posing great challenges to peace, which could be effectively countered with a cooperative framework.
“We need to have a cooperative framework to deal with conflicts and there should be more trade linkages, people to people contact and liberal visa regime,” Chari said. “Although China’s support to north-eastern insurgents has ceased, its support to Nepal Maoists and leftists of West Bengal, however, continues and that should worry us,” he added.
Defence Analyst retired Indian General Ashok Mehta said since India is the largest country of the region, it should help other nations quell violence.
“In Sri Lanka’s case, India made a strategic choice to support the government against the rebels (LTTE) and in Nepal’s case India supported the rebels (Maoists) against the government,” he said.
Some other scholars criticised China for its role in the region. Former Indian Foreign Secretary Lalit Mansingh said while India was choosing to step out of domestic conflict in countries like Sri Lanka and Nepal, China was stepping in.
Arvind Gupta, Director General, Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) said security issue were being dealt with differently in different regions and since this issue had been excluded from South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), members states needed to think about including the issue in the regional framework.