EPG all set to draft reportThe Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations formed in 2016 is gearing up to draft a report suggesting new ways of bilateral ties in the changed regional and global context.
The Eminent Persons Group on Nepal-India Relations formed in 2016 is gearing up to draft a report suggesting new ways of bilateral ties in the changed regional and global context.
The panel, which enters into the final leg of its two-year term, will start writing the report on agreed matters at its sixth meeting scheduled to take place in New Delhi on January 11 and 12, and seek common position on disputed issues, according to a member of the Nepali team.
“We are very close to agreeing on some issues like trade, transit, socio-cultural,” said Rajan Bhattarai. “We will start writing a report on these agreed matters and try to reach consensus on the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty, boundary issue and cooperation on water resources later.”
On the Nepal-India border, both sides had decided to recommend for its regulations during the group’s last meeting held in Kathmandu in 2017.
“We continue discussions on any outstanding issues in the sixth meeting as we have to prepare a report by July, he said. The term of the panel is fixed two years and cannot be extended further and only two meetings will be held after the sixth one.
The 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty, considered the bedrock in the Nepal-India relations, remains a major bone of contention as both sides are indecisive whether to make amendments to it or scrap it.
The Nepali side has offered some alternatives to some of the articles in the treaty that it deems “unequal”. In the previous meetings, the Indian side had asked Nepal for reasons to revise the treaty.
“We have discussed these contested matters with the Indian side. By seeking a common position, we have to move on writing the final report,” Bhattarai added. Sources said that the first draft of the panel’s report would likely be ready in time for the seventh meeting to be held in Kathmandu. It is expected to make recommend on various treaties, water resources, security, socio-economic and cultural relations, transport and transit facilities, connectivity, investments, infrastructure, economic cooperation, people-to-people contact, security and the open border.