Up to three years ago, labeled as a ‘terrorist’ leader and searched worldwide with an international red corner notice, Nepal’s Maoist leader and current Prime Minister Prachanda on Monday night (Tuesday morning according to Nepali time) has met with US President George W Bush in New York at a reception program.
President Bush had hosted the reception to provide a welcome honor to the heads of delegates that have arrived in New York to participate in the 63rd UN General Assembly.
Nepali Prime Minister Prachanda, elected by the Constituent Assembly, reached New York via Germany where he met Nepali migrants.
Despite being a decade-long Maoist People’s War leader, Prachanda has also become a key role player in Nepal’s ongoing peace process from which some war brokers and arms smugglers are suffering losses and are still trying hard to revoke civil war in the country.
A red-corner notice was issued against Prachanda at the advice of the Central Intelligence Agency during the State of Emergency in 2001. King Gyanendra, the Nepali Congress Party and the Unified Marxist-Leninist Party had requested the US Administration for economic and military assistance which they said they would use against Maoists. The king, the NC and the UML told the international community that Maoists were ‘terrorists’ like those belonging to Al Quaeda and that.
The US Administration was pleased to help their Nepali flatterers with money, intelligence support and military packages believing that their assistance to suppress Maoists was part of defeating terrorism.
US, Indian and European military assistance, though, proved sterile.
The Nepalis elected Maoist Chairman Prachanda from Kathmandu and Rolpa simultaneously.
It is still not clear if the red corner notice issued against him has been officially withdrawn. But in a brief meeting, President Bush and Prime Minister Prachanda are reported to have briefly discussed the bilateral relations between the US and Nepal.
According to US-based online news portal the Nepali Post, President Bush pledged to help Nepal for its transformation through the peace process.
Prime Minister Prachanda on behalf of Nepal is scheduled to address the 63rd UN General Assembly on September 26.