By Our Reporter
By following the traditional routine, Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba is scheduled to visit India from 23 to 27 August. This will be the first visit of Deuba to a foreign nation after he became prime minister. There is a hidden tradition of visiting India by the Nepali prime minister after assuming office. This is also understood as presenting a letter of credence to the Indian leaders after being elected to the post of PM.
This time, Deuba is visiting Delhi at a time when the two immediate neighbours are having a standoff at Doklam, considered a Chinese territory.
On the Doklam dispute between China and India, after about two months of standoff of the army of both the countries at Doklam, on 7 August only Nepal’s DPM and Foreign Minister Krishna Bahadur Mahara made clear that Nepal will maintain a neutral role. He also said that the Doklam dispute should be resolved through peaceful talks between the two countries.
Local observers believe that this is a kind of support to India. If Nepal had wished to maintain a non-aligned posture, she would have asked both the countries to respect the UN Charter.
Deuba is visiting India at a time when India is trying to court Nepal on the Doklam dispute. How Deuba will deal on the issue during his visit, it has to be seen. To recall, the then prime minister Pushpakamal Dahal, during his letter of credence presenting visit, had signed an agreement for making similar views on internal issues. Therefore, it is likely that Deuba will be forced to take the Indian side on the ongoing Doklam dispute.
Not to forget, the main designer of the present coalition government is Delhi and due to Delhi’s blessings, both Dahal and Deuba have been able to become the prime ministers here.
The government has already made clear that during this visit, Deuba is going to give priority on implementation of past agreements rather than signing new agreements.
Delhi for relations improvement with UML:
On the eve of the visit of Sushma Swaraj, Indian External Affairs Minister, Indian ambassador Manjit Singh called on UML chairman KP Sharma Oli at the latter’s residence Balkot, Bhaktapur on 2 August.
According to newspaper reports, Singh told Oli that the new phase of relations should have been developed between the two countries by forgetting the past bitter relations.
In response, Oli said that his party UML has always tried to make relations better with India but there are some Indians who are not sure that Nepal is a sovereign and independent nation. Oli said that India should treat Nepal as a sovereign nation to give a new height to the Nepal-India relations.
Puri requested to Oli to attend the reception to be hosted by the Indian Embassy on the occasion of the Indian independence day on 11 August.
Oli has accepted to attend the reception.
During the meeting, Oli had proposed to host a dinner in honour of the Indian Minister Swaraj but as Swaraj is just spending two hours in Kathmandu, it cannot be possible, stated the UML close Drishti vernacular weekly.