Prachanda against US influence in SA

KATHMANDU: Chairman of Unified CPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal 'Prachanda' said that Asian countries should develop a unified security strategy to combat US influence in South Asia.

During an interview with the BBC today, Dahal said India and China should work together to counter the US. He said the emerging Asian economies should rely less on the West, especially the United States. The former rebel leader said the US, being the sole super power, was trying to have a greater influence in Asia, but India and China should come together to provide security and prosperity to their people.

Former Prime Minister Prachanda, who had resigned in May, said Delhi was wrong to think that he was closer to communist of China. He clarified that he wanted a good relationship with both neighbouring countries.

Prachanda acknowledged that India supported the dialogue between his party and other political parties, after the King Gyanendra assumed direct power in 2005. But then, he said, Delhi lost its warmth towards the Maoists when the historic elections resulted in the victory of the Maoists and that made him the prime minister. On the domestic front, he said his party was striving to change the basic structure of Nepal through the Constituent Assembly, which would authorise a new constitution for Nepal.

Claiming that 90 per cent of the Nepali people were opposing monarchy, which was abolished in May 2008 after 240 years, Prachanda rejected any possibility of its restoration.