Kathmandu: Politicians representing various parties and foreign policy experts here discussed various aspects of Nepal-India relations on Friday. In a round table discussion organized by Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism (CESIF) focusing on Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s visit to India in May this year, parliamentarians, experts, former bureaucrats and diplomats expressed their views on multiple aspects of Nepal-India relations.
Various agreements were signed during Dahal’s visit to India on issues related to power trade, cross-border infrastructures, among others. Raj Kishor Yadav, chairperson of the International Relations and Tourism Committee at the House of Representative, said Nepal should understand India’s concerns in order to effectively navigate diplomatic hurdles. “Nepal and India’s issues are interconnected, and thus we need to carefully tread path,” he said.
The dialogue brought together diverse views from the parliamentarians and participants. Parliamentarian Sunita Baral expressed satisfaction regarding economic perks that were achieved during the PM’s visit to India. Barsa Man Pun agreed on the fact that slowly and gradually, an environment of trust is being witnessed. Udaya Shumsher Rana emphasized on compartmentalizing structural and economic issues while dealing with India. “Issues like border disputes require long term solution, and the present concentration should be on economic aspects,” he said.
Most participants said there is a trust deficit between Nepal and India, and that there has to be diversification and decentralization of diplomacy. Regarding the PM’s visit to India, while some remarked it to be successful, others expressed dissatisfaction over PM Dahal not being able to effectively raise the issues related to EPG report and boundary issues. The crux lies in the implementation of the deals and agreements signed, they said.