Friday Sep 22, 2023
Friday Sep 22, 2023

Nepal-India agree to further enhance the bilateral relations based on equality, mutual respect and trust

2023 Jun 03, 16:16, Indore, Madhyapradesh
Pic: RSS

Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal is wrapping up his four-day official visit to India and returning home today.

During his visit, he held one-to-one meeting with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi; and attended the bilateral delegation level talks where various agreements and memorandums of understanding were signed- ranging from power trade and interstate transmission line.

Talking to the National News Agency (RSS) reporter together in entourage, Ramesh Lamsal, PM Dahal informed that both prime ministers from Nepal and India agreed to further enhance the bilateral relations based on equality, mutual respect and trust. Here is what PM Dahal shared in response to questions put forth by RSS correspondent Lamsal about the visit.

Honourable PM, how do you evaluate your India visit?

Comparatively, this visit is more fruitful than the previous ones, having long term impact and focused on Nepal's national interest. Chiefly, I believe this visit has been successful to give a positive message to foster economic activities.

What are bases for success in visit?

First, I had an open and frank discussion with Indian counterpart Modi which created an atmosphere for trust. I had a one-on-one talk once with him. This must have built trust.

Secondly, this time, discussion was held substantively for solving border problems for ever. Before myself, Indian PM Modi spoke in the joint press meet that border problems should be resolved. His view of Nepal-India relations should be taken to a new height to that Himalaya, which gives a new message.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that he will make Nepal-India relations 'super-hit' and raise them as high as Himalaya. What could it potentially mean?

Modi in his first official visit as the Indian Prime Minister in 2014 had discussed the Nepal-India relations using the meaning of 'hit'. The 'HIT' did not gain a remarkable momentum as expected in between. It occurs to me that Modi mentioned making Nepal-India ties 'Super hit' linking this word with his then successful visit.

It could also mean that Nepal-India relations should be taken to a greater height. To my understanding, the use of two words 'super' and 'hit' reflects the state of mind of the Indian Prime Minister that now all the issues between Nepal and India can be resolved with great confidence.

It is a huge thing that both countries have reached the same level of understanding that the border related issues should not be stalled rather be resolved.

When Prime Minister Modi and I held talks, even the issues on resolution of border problems between India and Bangladesh had come up. PM Modi himself admitted that they achieved success in resolving the border issues after extensive 'hard work' and 'homework.'

The border issue between Nepal-India should not be kept protracted. Instead, it should be resolved. The Bangladesh model could be an opportunity. There could be other opportunities as well.

Based on the facts and statistics of the history, the matter would be resolved if India leaves the territory claimed by Nepal as its own. Another thing is the practice of swapping land if there were complexities in many places. But we have not formally entered these alternatives yet.

Some border experts in Nepal have suggested that border problems could be resolved if India gives Nepal an access to Bangladesh, but it was not talked formally with India.

The level of commitment towards resolution of border issues between the two countries has reached another height.

Some important decisions have been made regarding power trade with India. Have we enabled the situation to generate 10,000 MW of electricity within 10 years and sell them?

One question has been raised in the minds of investors and Nepali experts for a long time that Nepal has been producing electricity but in an uncertain market, what happens if we only produce electricity but there is no market?

Nepal wants to have a long term trade agreement with India and an agreement towards this end has entered with India this time.

PM Modi himself clearly announced that India will purchase 10,000 MW electricity within 10 years. Formality towards this end will be completed within a few days. It’s a huge achievement.

The problem of investors facing issues due to uncertainty of the market for electricity is no longer a case. I think we could now get into power generation at a fast pace.

Whatever the case, the agreement is an important one in terms of Nepal's long-term national interest. I believe that it will give a new momentum to Nepal's economy.

Nepal and India jointly declared that DPR for the Pancheshwor Multipurpose Project will be prepared within three months and modality would be prepared within a year. Process has been initiated to take forward the Project stalled for nearly 26 years in a new manner. It is a matter of happiness for Nepal.

Whatever the consensus forged among Nepal, India and Bangladesh for power trade, all have agreed for the same. It plays an important role in the power trade sector of Nepal. It is another important achievement in the interest of Nepal.

The implementation of the announcement of buying 10,000 MW electricity in 10 years by India is doubted. How will it proceed?'

No need to doubt at all because it was announced in a press meet organised after official talks between the two Prime Ministers. It will be our weakness to doubt the announcement made by the powerful leader, Indian Prime Minister Modi. It will move ahead at any cost.

Nepal raised the issue of air entry routes. What was discussed in this regard?

Nepal had been raising the issue of air entry route since early time and I had sent the concerned Ministry and officials to Delhi to hold discussion on this end. At least one route for direct international flight except Simara was requested. An agreement to allow aircraft to fly from low altitude has made a good signal, though it has not addressed Nepal's necessity and wish. We will get approval for a high-altitude additional entry route from Mahendranagar or Nepalgunj. India is positive towards it.

You visited the cleanest city of India, Indore. You enquired about the practices related to waste management. Waste management is seen as a challenging issue in Nepal. Can Nepal learn something from it?

"Indore is enlisted as the cleanest city of India. We visited Indore with the objective of learning something for waste management. There are many things we have to learn from it. The main thing is the government's commitment. Madhyapradesh government and Indore municipality's commitment and effort to make Indore clean is significant. It is important to create the awareness that every person should work hard to make the city clean.

Is there anything more to share for Nepali people about the achievements of India visit?

I feel that this India visit has long-term and strategic meaning and importance. In Nepal, everything is seen negatively and suspiciously. But, I feel, all should focus their attention to expedite development, prosperity and economic activities without politically inflating the issue. In this sense, this visit has become historic.


Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prime Minister india Narendra Modi National News Agency (RSS) nepal Indian Counterpart Nepal-India relations Bangladesh
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