The recent visit to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli to India has become the subject of concern and discussion in Nepal and India. Even after a week’s visit to the Prime Minister’s visit to India, the discussions among Kathmandu’s experts have not been stopped. The visit of Prime Minister’s predecessor has probably not been discussed so much about this visit to the Prime Minister.
PM’s visit to India has been termed successful in ‘taking care’ of the strained relations between two nations. The trip by Prime Minister was undertaken to give continuity to the tradition of the Nepali prime ministers making India their first destination of the foreign visit after resuming the office.
The PM’s visit has restored the trust, goodwill and close friendship between the two close neighbours of whose relations witnessed a dip in recent times. The visit has assisted the both sides in realising the ‘mistakes’ and realising new necessities deepening the friendly relations during the present changed context.
The ‘success’ of the trip was also marked by the issuance of 12-point joint statement in which PM Oli and his Indian counterpart have emphasised that the relations between the two nations would be taken to newer heights by adhering to the principles of Panchasheel and equality, bilateral trust, mutual respect and benefits.
The agreements in the three areas appear to be the main ‘achievements’ for the visiting Nepali delegation this time around. Nepal and India signed agreements with the Nepali side to provide assistance to Nepal in constructing railway line from Raxaul to Kathmandu, assist the land-locked Nepal to find access to sea through inland water channels through Nepal and Indian rivers and financial and technical help to Nepal’s agriculture sector.
The detractors of the present Oli-led government were quick to criticise the visiting PM for not raising to resolve some of the pressing ‘genuine’ issues with the Indian side. The ambitious Pancheswhor project, trade imbalance with India and issues of inundation of Nepal’s Terai areas as well as the exchange of the demonitised Indian currencies held by Nepalis did not find serious mention during the visit.
Despite all criticisms during and after the visit, one thing appears certain - the visit has helped a lot to improve the nation’s relationship with India. Our PM had even gone a step further in saying that Nepal’s relation with India had never worsened. The visit will help in restoring bilateral trust in the days ahead, though there is still some suspicions whether or not our southern neighbour, which attracted a lots of flak for its recent ‘interference in the Nepali affairs’ and its arm-twisting tactics against Nepal, has realised the significance of its friendly relations with Nepal that is based on bilateral trust and mutual benefits. The Nepalese side’s mending of relation with India will be fruitful only when India accords important and higher priority to the relation with Nepal through its sensible behaviour.
Published Date : 16 APril, 2018 Monday.