Nepal’s Prime Minister Deuba Claims His India Visit Successful

At a time when Nepalese political spectrum and media issued a mixed reaction, Indian media came out with positive notes.

Aug. 28, 2017, 7:25 a.m.

Following the completion of his five day visit to India, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba returned to Kathmandu. Claiming his visit successful, prime minister Deuba said he is able to bring back Nepal India relations back in the track. Prime minister claims that his visit is successful.

PM Deuba had led a 48-delegation member to India, after assuming office, on a first foreign visit at the invitation of PM Narendra Modi.

NC President Deuba also raised issue of Terai inundation and other issues of national interests with his Indian counterpart Modi.PM Deuba also signed an 8-point agreement with the Indian Government.

Media Reactions

At a time when Nepalese political spectrum and media issued a mixed reaction, Indian media came out with positive notes. The Hindu said,” That old spark: Nepal Prime Minister’s visit brings bilateral hope.

The Hindu adds, “at a time when the Doklam stand-off had focused attention on Himalayan geopolitics, it was impossible to miss the significance of the visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to India. This was his first foreign visit as Prime Minister, and it confirmed Kathmandu’s abiding interest in strong ties with India. The recovery of bilateral warmth has taken some doing on both sides. To that end, Mr. Deuba’s visit was another opportunity, as were the visits of his predecessors K.P. Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, to repair the India-Nepal relationship. The joint statement at the end of the Delhi leg of his visit refers to the “deep, comprehensive and multi-faceted” ties between the neighbors as it listed projects being developed in Nepal under lines of credit provided by India.

In the Tribune, Indian’s former external affairs minister K. Natwar Singh writes,” the visit of the Prime Minister of Nepal was long overdue. For the past three years we have mishandled Nepal, our nearest neighbor. Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba did not go empty handed. The two countries signed eight agreements, including on cooperation in countering drug trafficking and post-earthquake reconstruction.

We have to be particularly careful to bear in mind the sensitivities of our smaller neighbors. Shyam Saran served in Nepal for a number of years. He accompanied me on my visit to Kathmandu in 2004. Here is what he writes about India-Nepal in his book:

“…. There is a widespread perception in Nepal that India does not respect the country’s sovereignty and independence, that it often intervenes Nepal’s domestic affairs and generally behaves like an overbearing Big Brother.”

Occasionally there are lapses on our part but never as a master policy. For decades, we have given generous support to Nepal’s development. If I am not mistaken the Indian rupee is legal tender in Nepal. I could enumerate any number of concessions we give to Nepal in a multiplicity of areas.

Of course, China does, in a subtle way, keep a hawk eye on what is going on in Kathmandu. A few misguided Nepalese wish to play China against India or India against China. This is crass nonsense.

The Daily News and Analysis terms the visit, undoubtedly, PM Deuba’s visit has infused new trust and confidence in the relationship and other linkages will help the two countries further boost their bilateral ties.

It writes,” Another reason for India to foster close engagement with Kathmandu is to ensure political stability and promotion of democratic forces in Nepal and also to make certain, according to some experts, that the current Nepali Congress and other like-minded parties come to power in the next general elections in November this year. There are concerns in India that KP Oli’s return to power could damage India’s interests. This can be gauged from the fact that Oli had expressed his anger at the presence of Indian media, following the April 2015 earthquake. Subsequently, in September 2015, Nepal accused India of supporting the Madhesis protesting against the new Constitution. In March 2016, Oli secured major projects under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative. Soon after the meeting between Sushma Swaraj and Deuba early this month, Chinese vice Premier Wang Yang held a meeting with Oli.

However, Nepalese media hold differently. The Republica said there is a mix reaction on the visit. According to a report of republic, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba's assurance to India that the ruling parties in Nepal would introduce a fresh constitution amendment bill in parliament has drawn flak not only from the main opposition CPN-UML but also from his own coalition partner, CPN (Maoist Center).

While  CPN-UML Chairman K P Sharma Oli said that the prime minister's remarks on a fresh amendment bid had undermined the dignity of Nepal as a sovereign nation, ruling Maoist Center Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal expressed dissatisfaction over Deuba's  unnecessarily speaking in India about the issue of constitution amendment, which has already been settled by parliament .

Daily Kantipur and Nagrik in their editorial writes cautiously particularly on the India’s reservation on Nepal’s constitution. They also criticized prime minister Deuba for raising the constitution amendment issue in New Delhi with Indian prime minister Narendra Modi.

 

 

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