Ambassador Rakesh Sood is likely to be pulled out of
He is likely to be replaced by Jayant Prasad, currently special secretary in the ministry of external affairs.
Sood assumed charge at a critical stage in Nepali transition — on the eve of the Maoist ascent to power — but quickly gained a reputation for his blunt style of functioning; critics, Nepali Maoists to begin with, called his manner brash and arrogant.
“He is a viceroy-style interventionist with little regard for diplomatic norms, he often behaves as if Nepal were his protectorate,” Mohan Vaidya “Kiran”, a top Maoist leader, had told The Telegraph during the raging row over the Nepal Army chief which eventually led to Prachanda’s premature resignation as Prime Minister.
As Sood’s ambassadorship proceeded, many others in
One senior Nepali Congress leader who wouldn’t be named said: “Sood made his intentions clear early, he had no regard for propriety. He met our Prime Minister even before he had presented his credentials. He talks down to Nepalis and that is hurting
Nepali domestic politics --- and the peace agreement between the Maoists and “mainstream” parties --- has remained deadlocked since Prachanda’s resignation, and many believe Sood to be a prime factor.
“Of course, he is pursuing
The decision to replace him, sources suggest, has much to do with
Prasad, the likely successor, is, like Sood, a former ambassador to
Sood had played a proactive and very public role in the reinstatement of Gen. Rukmangad Katuwal, who was dismissed by Prachanda in a show of assertion as
He met Prachanda six times in the space of fewer days, once or twice without an appointment, and verily saw to it Katuwal had the last word. Since then, Sood has been at the centre of many eruptions, domestic and bilateral.
Many find it not strange that he is the first Indian ambassador to
Apart from being seen as the prime mover of the effort to keep Maoists, the single largest party in
A few months ago, he prevailed upon Indian corporate interests to stop advertising in “Kantipur”,
Shortly thereafter, Indian embassy officials were reported threatening Madhesi members of the Constituent Assembly with unpleasant consequences if they voted for Prachanda in several failed run-offs to replace Madhav
One Madhesi MP went public saying Indian diplomats had threatened his daughter would not find entry to the much sought-after Indian embassy run school in
Sood was also backing a rather unsavoury Indian bid to grab the contract for machine-readable passport technology, for which
(Originally published at The Telegraph,