A crisis that demands urgent international attention has taken grip in Nepal. Far from the battle lines of the ‘war’ on terrorism, this tiny Himalayan kingdom tucked between the two emerging superpowers, China and India, is plagued by chaos caused by Maoist insurgency and acute political instability.
Nepal entered an open and pluralist era with the restoration of multi-party democracy in 1990. The main partners in the people’s movement – the Nepali Congress and the United-Marxist- Leninist – raised high hopes that they were not able to fulﬁl.
Congress formed a majority government after mostly free and fair parliamentary polls in 1991 and introduced a number of socio-economic reforms. But Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala called snap mid-term polls in 1994 which resulted in a hung parliament and a minority government lasting only nine months. A succession of coalitions of various hues and colours followed, some of which fell after only six months.