PM Deuba set to visit India from Aug 23Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will embark on a five-day state visit to India on August 23 at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba will embark on a five-day state visit to India on August 23 at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi.
Officials from both the countries are working to finalise the itinerary, agenda and the size of the delegation, according to sources.
PM Deuba’s visit to the southern neighbour this time will focus on implementing the past accords that were signed during his earlier visits in 1996, 2002 and 2004 as the prime minister.
“We have received two clear instructions from the prime minister,” two senior officials engaged in the visit preparations told the Post. “Firstly, the prime minister is keen to implement the past agreements reached during his three visits to India. While dwelling on the status of the India-funded projects, the prime minister also plans to discuss the issues, if any, that have impeded the projects,” said a senior official. “Second, the prime minister has told officials that there must be some concrete outcome from the visit.”
The much-talked about Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project as well as other energy and infrastructure related projects will be high on the agenda, according to the official. In 1996, Deuba and then Indian prime minister PV Narasimha Rao had held discussions on reviewing the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty and expediting the implementation of the Mahakali Treaty, including the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project and its financing model, Saptakoshi High Dam, Sunkoshi Diversion, Karnali Multipurpose Project and Budhi Gandaki Hydro Electricity Project, among others.
In 2002, both sides had agreed for the early conclusion of the Agreement for Mutual Legal Assistance and updating the Extradition Treaty and construction of four Integrated Check Posts along the Nepal-India border.
Both sides had called for a plan of action for the early commencement of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project. But the DPR is yet to be completed.
“Time has come for both sides to find out why there has not been desired progress on several understandings reached in the past,” said Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to PM Deuba.
Deuba is visiting New Delhi this time in capacity of a prime minister after 13 years.
Nepal has gone through a sea change since his last visit to India as the prime minister in 2004.
In the meantime, India is now ruled by an all-powerful Modi whose government two years ago cold shouldered Nepal’s constitution adoption just by “taking a note of it” and imposed a border blockade that led to souring of ties between the two countries. In the last two years, both sides have been working to bring the ties back on track. In this backdrop, political dialogue involving Nepal’s constitution and efforts to implement it through elections is certain to be high on the agenda.
After his engagements in New Delhi, the Indian side is preparing for PM Deuba’s visit to Bodh Gaya and Tirupati Balaji Temple.