Modi’s foreign tour delays Indo-Nepal reportThe fate of joint report prepared by Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on Nepal-India relations has been shrouded in uncertainty because of the hectic schedule of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Suresh Raj Neupane
The fate of joint report prepared by Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on Nepal-India relations has been shrouded in uncertainty because of the hectic schedule of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Modi, currently on a five-day tour to three African countries, returns to Delhi on Saturday.
The EPG was tasked with making recommendations on reviewing various treaties and agreements between the two countries, including 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship.
The ninth meeting of the EPG that concluded in Kathmandu on June 30 had prepared a single joint report that will be submitted to the prime ministers of Nepal and India. The two-year tenure of EPG ended on July 4.
It was agreed at the Kathmandu meeting that the report would be submitted first to Indian PM in New Delhi and then to PM KP Oli in Kathmandu. The date to submit the is not decided because of Modi’s schedule.
“Hopefully the submission date will be finalised soon,” said Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, Nepal coordinator of the group.
India coordinator of EPG Bhagat Singh Koshiyari said they have been waiting for PM Modi to submit the report.
The report would be submitted by the second week of August, Koshiyari said, adding that Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj knows about it.
The single report was drafted after both sides agreed to replace the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship by a new one, to regulate the Nepal-India border by making people produce identity cards while crossing over to either side, and to jointly tackle common challenges in areas of combating terrorism, extremism, fake-currency and all kinds of trafficking, among other bilateral issues.
Once the EPG submits the report, the onus lies on the both the governments to implement the recommendations. The report carries suggestions on resetting the bilateral relations that entail political and economic matters. The recommendations concern trade, commerce, water resource, people-to-people contact and cultural ties, said Nepali members.