Former Nepalese prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda on Friday called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and briefed him on the constitution drafting process in the Himalayan nation.
An official release said Prachanda thanked Modi for India’s assistance in the aftermath of two powerful earthquakes in Nepal earlier this year, including the pledge of $1 billion announced at the donors’ conference in Kathmandu.
Prachanda is chairman of the United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist.
Modi reiterated India’s commitment to fully support Nepal in its efforts at reconstruction and also praised the people and the leadership of Nepal for their efforts in rebuilding Nepal after the grave tragedy. Modi appreciated the recent progress in the constitution making process.
The prime minister expressed hope that outstanding issues in the constitution making process would be resolved at the earliest so that the new constitution “enjoys support of all sections of the society and helps build an inclusive, stable and prosperous Nepal”.
Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli has told his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi that Nepal’s territory will not be used against New Delhi’s interests, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said here on Saturday.
“Oli reiterated that they will be sensitive to our concerns and their territory will not be allowed to be used by anybody against India. Prime Minister Modi reciprocated the sentiments,” Gokhale told the media.
Gokhale called Oli’s view “very significant”.
There was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint as Prime Minister between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.
There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning towards China than India.
Gokhale said that Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal was aimed to strengthen bilateral relations “whether it be cross-border electricity or cross-border connectivity”.
“We are looking into cross-border electricity and cross-border connectivity not only with Nepal but other neighbouring countries as well,” he said.
After assuming office in February, Oli made his first foreign visit to India in April.
Stating that India welcomed the restoration of democracy in Nepal, Gokhale said that both the government and the opposition in the Himalayan nation were parties to it.
He said both sides agreed to be committed towards the stated projects. “We will address this within a set timeline.”
According to Gokhale, Oli confirmed to Modi that Nepal will host the the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (Bimstec) summit this year.
Bimstec comprises seven countries lying in the littoral and adjacent areas of the Bay of Bengal — Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Thailand.
Gokhale also said that Modi’s visits to cultural sites in Nepal “suggested that there should be strong people-to-people ties”.
Apart from offering prayers at temples in Nepal, the Indian leader inaugurated the Janakpur-Ayodhya bus service, a 900 MW hydropower project and announced Rs 100-crore aid to develop Janakpur city.