Print Edition - 2016-02-18 | News
Ties to normalise after visit: Rae
Feb 18, 2016-
Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said on Wednesday that Nepal-India bilateral relations will normalise after Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s visit to India.
PM Oli is leaving for New Delhi on Friday on a six-day visit.
Oli will be accorded a warm welcome in India, said Rae at an interaction at the Reporters’ Club. “The visit is going to further strengthen ties between Nepal and India,” he added.
Nepal-India ties saw an all-time low following the promulgation of the constitution in September after New Delhi expressed some reservations about some of the contents of the charter and called for addressing the Madhes-based political parties’ demands.
PM Oli is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on Saturday.
“The visit will help resolve the differences that have emerged between the two countries of late,” said the envoy, adding that time and again “we have seen ups and downs in the relations but we have successfully resolved these hiccups through talks”.
Matters like economic cooperation for the mutual benefit and clearing the misunderstanding are key agenda of the visit, he said.
After his meetings in New Delhi, PM Oli will visit Uttarakhand to observe the Tehri dam and Bhuj of Gujarat to take stock of reconstruction efforts made by the Gujarat government after the state was rattled by a massive earthquake n 2001. “We want to show how we have carried out our hydropower projects and undertaken reconstruction work,” said Rae.
“We are happy that Prime Minister Oli is flying to India for his maiden visit,” Rae said, adding, “PM Oli’s visit to India will be successful, productive and fruitful.” Sating that the government’s decision to form a political mechanism to resolve the issue of demarcation of provincial boundaries was laudable, Rae called on Nepali political leadership to settle the internal problems through talks.
Rae said that Nepal’s attempt to control cross-border criminal activities, cooperation in security matters and some legal framework will also be discussed during PM Oli’s visit.
Former ambassador to India Bhekh Bahadur Thapa said that time has come to restore the traditional relationship between Nepal and India and that all should help the prime minister in his bid to restore the ties. “The visit should lay the foundation for good ties,” said Thapa, also a former foreign minister, adding, “At a time when India should have been extending support to the political process here, its unfriendly approach in the last five months has added challenges in the bilateral relations.”
Former ambassador Dinesh Bhattarai said that symbol and substance are the key in such bilateral visits, but “we have to focus on substance rather than gesture”. “There is a trust deficit between leadership of Nepal and India, and the visit should focus on reducing the trust deficit,” said Bhattarai, adding that PM Oli should talk in clear terms when it comes to expectations Nepal has with India.
The visit will focus on taking Nepal-India ties to a new height, said Rajan Bhattarai, a member of the eminent persons group and lawmaker from the ruling CPN-UML.
Published: 18-02-2016 07:19