‘I did my best to bolster ties’Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally sent an official letter regarding the government’s decision to recall Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay on Monday.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs finally sent an official letter regarding the government’s decision to recall Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay on Monday. Devendra Bhattarai of the Post spoke with Upadhyay as he was preparing to leave Delhi. Excerpts:
How was your tenure as the Nepali Ambassador to India?
I spent most of my time in public relations and bilateral talks. The earthquake rocked Nepal just two weeks after my arrival. So, I found myself busy coordinating the relief efforts and listening to the concerns of Nepali community in India. As the ambassador, I tried my best to bolster bilateral relations in favour of my country and the people. But it is not for me to assess the works I did.
Soon after your appointment you said that you would strive to improve the bilateral ties. But you have been recalled now without any specific reasons. What are your thoughts on this?
An ambassador represents his country. So, appointing and recalling of ambassadors are common practice. If the government cannot work comfortably the government can recall its representative. So far as my remarks following my appointment are concerned, I said that there should be good relations at the people to people level, rather than interpreting the special relations between the two countries.
There are frequent complaints that people hardly feel there is a Nepali mission in Delhi. Why do you think the Nepal government is failing to make its presence felt?
Everything is done as per the means and resources. In India, foreign ministry represents the group of all its diplomatic missions around the world as well as the experts of diplomacy within the country.
Such is not the case in our country. Nepal should come up with an effective foreign policy if it wants a better standing internationally.
Some reports say you were recalled after President Bhandari’s India visit was cancelled. Were you at all informed about the cancellation of President’s visit?
The embassy was informed when we were busy holding talks at various levels for the President’s imminent India visit. The embassy was not consulted.
Why was the visit cancelled?
I read about the President’s concerns regarding her visit in papers. But there were no such incidents as mentioned by the media. We were involved in dialogues to make the President’s visit a success. The formal schedule of her visit had already been prepared. I don’t know why the visit was cancelled.
There are allegations of you not informing the Foreign Ministry about some of the visits and programmes. Do you agree?
I had a good working relations with the employees of Foreign Ministry. I updated the ministry about every visit and programme. As for the allegations goes, they were made by some persons who do not quite comprehend this field of work. I do not run after calumnious remarks.
Reservations were also voiced concerning an event that was organised near Nepal-India border in which Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae was also invited. Was the Foreign Ministry informed about the event?
The event was planned so that we could hear the problem faced by the people in western Nepal-India border. I had informed the ministry about it. We did not attend the programme after being informed that the security situation of Kailali and Kanchanpur was not good. Indian Ambassador Rae did not make it either. If this incident was given a political spin, I have nothing to say.