Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Nepal arms deal: Govt disclosure thickens mystery

Kathmandu: Five days after a media uproar about New Delhi denying permission to a Russian company to ferry arms to Nepal via India, Nepal's new government 'came clean' on the clandestine deal in parliament but the admission added more to the mystery than clearing it up.
Instead of clearing up the mystery, the home minister's statement compounds the confusion. The government has chosen to stay mum regarding the aircraft that had sought permission to land at Mumbai airport last month and was carrying shipments from Belarus and Bulgaria.
It also doesn't explain why the minister provided an explanation five days after the furore started. Throughout the five days, Sitaula himself, finance minister Ram Sharan Mahat and prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala's adviser on foreign affairs, Suresh Chalise, had denied any government knowledge of the matter.
05/09/06 Sudeshna Sarkar/Indo-Asian News Service/Daily, US
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