How visit served Indian interest than that of Nepal
Staff Writer, KATHMANDU: The current visit of Prime Minister K P Oli to India can be said to have at best served Indian interest more than it can be said to have served Nepalese interest by any standard. It served Indian interest in the sense, PM Oli did not first go to China and apparently reassured his counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal will take care of Indian “security” concerns.
This is not taking into consideration enhanced power cooperation and promise of 600 mw more ahead and line of credit and grant adding up to US$900 m and never-ending Indian pet project of postal road in tarai. It looks like India did not agree to let Nepal handle the project.
Meanwhile on the energy front, the Indian side is perhaps not keen on power import from Nepal and in the interim trying to have Nepal agree on re-regulating dam on Nepalese side by employing delaying tactics. But what appears to be going missing is it is not taking into account the cost of non-implementation.
On the political front, PM Modi, perhaps a best speaker in the world today and smartest one too, threw a bombshell by limiting his reference to Nepal to Himalaya when talking about sovereignty. He did say both India and Nepal were sovereign countries but dropped a bombshell by employing a figure of speech saying “territorial integrity of Himalaya and purity of Ganga” cannot be contested.
The way PM Modi spoke, it appears that the Indian establishment is overtly carrying Madhesh issue repeatedly meaning to say Nepal had better listen to Madheshi people.
Yes PM Oli was accorded the state welcome at the rampart of the presidential palace and treated as state guest and lodged at the same famous address but what went missing is the scale of joint development commitment.
With Narendra Modi at the helm one expects taking up truly big, genuine and mega infrastructure projects. But while Modi did refer to power generation and how Nepal can benefit in passing manner, it figured third in the joint communique.
Again while PM Modi did receive PM Oli at the presidential palace but the body language did not demonstrate as if everything is fine and dandy and he is happy with what PM Oli said in “one-on-one” talk which are shroud in secrecy while the outcomes becomes public only later on.
The way PM Modi insinuated the Indian side has immense concern about any of countries other than India in Nepal. He meant to say that Nepal must take care of the Indian security concern while trying to stabilize its politics in the interest of development.
In what appears to be aimed at keeping in close touch and periodic review following what PM Modi did not at all even refer to at all and what PM Oli repeatedly referred to as “unpleasantness” by way of bringing in the blockade out in public debate, there will be exchange of visits of Indian and Nepalese presidents to each others’ capitals. PM Modi has also been invited to Nepal.
:: Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa (left) and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj shake hands after singing an agreement in New Delhi on Saturday, February 20, Seen on the backdrop are Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: PM’s Secretariat/Anandaram Dangol