We want political stability in Nepal: Salman Khursid, Indian Minister of External Affairs
How do you assess the President Dr Ram Baran Yadav’s trip to your country?
We have concluded that the Honorary President Dr Yadav’s official trip to our country was fruitful and highly successful. This visit has added an extra vigor in the bilateral relationship of India and Nepal. We have discussed various issues including the latest political development of the Nepal.
What were the issues featured in the discussions?
First, this is the high level visit to India from Nepal’s side. The issues related to the bilateral relationship were discussed during the meetings. Second, we also dwelt upon the latest political developments of Nepal. Economic agenda, power crisis, progress in the implementation of the agreements signed earlier, open border, among others were also discussed in the various meetings held during the visit.
What transpired during the political discussions?
We are closely observing the latest political developments in Nepal. India holds a common opinion regarding the current political deadlock of Nepal- there should be a national consensus. Political parties should find a way-out themselves through unity and consensus. The formation of national unity government is important in resolving the current political crisis. The President expressed his confidence about the parties’ success in forging consensus as soon as possible during his meeting with me. This is a positive signal. We also shared similar wishes. We also think that the parties are putting efforts towards that end. There isn’t any alternative of election for institutionalizing the gains made so far and strenghthening the democracy further. Promulgation of new constitution by holding the polls as soon as possible is what India wishes. And, we expressed our commitment for any help that Nepal need for that purpose.
What is the Indian perception over the leadership of such national unity government?
This is not what we are supposed to say. Nepal is an independent and sovereign country and who should be the Prime Minister, who should lead the government is something what the political parties of Nepal should decide themselves. This is also not the concern of India on who should be Nepal’s Prime Minister. India has clear position- parties be united to forge consensus on holding the election in Nepal. This is what we are concern of.
There are accusations that your Prime Minister is backing and sustaining the Dr Baburam Bhattarai led government in Nepal?
India is not in for and against of anyone or who should be the Prime Minister. India doesn’t have any role on sustaining any government, who should or who shouldn’t be Nepal’s Prime Minister. Everybody should be clear on this. The problems of Nepal should be solved by Nepalese. They are those to decide on the issue of government formation. I don’t think, it’s good to imply us while analyzing. We have been continuously saying that- we want political stability in Nepal. We want to see the prosperous Nepal on the unified efforts of political parties of the country. Now we have only one interest- there should be economic prosperity in Nepal. We are ready for the utmost support we can lend for our neighbor. I would like to clarify today from you that India will not stand for and against anybody. We want national unity and prosperous Nepal.
Some speculate the role of India in the repeated failures parties to forge consensus despite of several deadlines by the President Dr Yadav?
How one sees the roles depends upon your personal perception. We have concern towards the political development of Nepal as it is our good neighbor. We have been enjoying warm ties for past many-many years. The relationship is deep and it will continue to be deeper in coming days. It’s not good to entail us in every issues of Nepal. We didn’t interfere in Nepal’s internal political issues, neither India is interfering nor will we.
Do you think election will be held in Nepal?
We want election be held in Nepal as earliest. This is up to the parties in Nepal to hold election. If there is election in Nepal through the consensus between the parties, democracy will be strengthened. And the future is brighter of Nepal if democracy is strengthened.
What is the achievement of the President’s visit?
This is the courtesy visit of Honorable President. I have already told you that the visit was highly successful and help to understand each other country during the visit.
It is said that you have support towards the President Dr Yadav’s move in Nepal?
Nepal’s President Dr Yadav possesses a good personality. Personally, I am also impressed with the polite and cordial behavior of President Dr Yadav. The effort made by the President for the consensus is laudable and appreciative. We support his move.
When are you visiting Nepal?
I am highly interested to visit Nepal. Hopefully, it would be fulfilled very soon. I will visit Nepal after the formation of national consensus government; consensus is forged and election date is announced.
By: Rishi Dhamala