A week after Nepal's royal coup on February 1, King Gyanendra's spokesman and his new foreign minister, Ramesh Nath Pandey, spoke to Outlook on issues other than India's reaction:
What prompted the king to take over the government?
Without peace and security, there can't be any elections, and without elections there can't be a government of people's representatives. We have learnt a lesson after paying a heavy price and wasting three-and-a-half years, men and material. All previous governments failed to create a proper atmosphere for elections. His Majesty personally and collectively met political leaders and said we should face the challenge to democracy and save it. Unfortunately, because of the infighting within and among parties there was no option left for His Majesty: he was compelled to take over the government.
But why did you suspend civil liberties and impose Emergency?
Emergency is required to restore peace. It is a constitutional obligation to suspend certain clauses in the Constitution during an Emergency. But the process of...