By Our Reporter
Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli is leaving for New Delhi, India on a three-day official visit at the invitation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Before, Indian Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj visited Nepal immediately after the Oli-led left alliance swept parliamentary and provincial elections, paving way for Oli’s return to power 20 months after his government was pulled down apparently under the Indian design.
Swaraj had visited Kathmandu as Indian PM Modi’s special envoy to greet Oli, the Nepali people had not thought that Oli would embark on the visit.
The Oli government was toppled down probably to foil the Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Nepal visit proposed for October 2016.
Obviously, people had voted the UML and its ally CPN-Maoist Centre expressing their dislike to India for imposing blockade and backing the Madhes-based forces to sabotage the new constitution, and they had not expected PM Oli’s India visit in less than two months of his return to power.
And as a popularly elected Prime Minister, Oli was not in position to reject the invitation of Modi sent through not other than Foreign Affairs Minister Swaraj.
Now when Oli is preparing to fly to New Delhi, people have expected that he would not sign any new agreement, instead exert pressure on India to implement the past agreements. And the views expressed by Prime Minister Oli himself and Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali match the people’s expectation.
Of course, this time India has been in haste to invite PM Oli to India fearing that whether Oli would visit China first, because the Indian mainstream media have since two and a half years portrayed Oli as pro-China Nepali leader.
Moreover, India became more suspicious after Pakistani Prime Minister visited Nepal to personally greet Oli on his election to the post of Prime Minister.
Now, the people who voted and did not to Oli’s party and alliance are eagerly waiting how PM Oli will deal with the Indian leadership, on issues regarding to the bilateral ties and the postponed 19th SAARC Summit, which is to be hosted by Pakistan, the arch rival of India.
If Oli succeeds to convince the Indian leaders to sort out the problems like the illegally built dams in the Nepal-India borders, holding of several projects by India without executing them and fixing the new date for the halted SAARC summit, his visit would be regarded fruitful. If Modi welcomes PM Oli together with the constitution against which he had lobbied in the international forum, that will be added asset for Oli.
Anyway, Oli who was ousted from power two and half years ago at the Indian design has now been the most-sought-after leader for the same Indian government and leadership.
Although it is yet to be clear about the issues that PM Oli is likely to raise during his India sojourn, diplomats and leaders have suggested a number of issues he could raise.
In this context, former Nepali Ambassador to India Dr. Bhek Bahadur Thapa said that matters relating to the 1950 Treaty would not be discussed with India during the upcoming visit of Prime Minister KP Oli.
Speaking at the Reporters Club, Thapa suggested the visit should focus on implementing past agreements and achieving economic prosperity.
He said the Eminent Persons Group was working on making reforms in the treaties held between Nepal and India and minimising the bitterness that was seen in Nepal-India relations.
Thapa also informed the group would reach a conclusion on it after holding intensive discussions on the treaty, trade, water, border and security.
Thapa, who is a coordinator of the Nepal-India Eminent Group (NIEG), suggested the visit should focus on implementing past agreements and achieving economic prosperity.
KP Oli’s Delhi sojourn
By Our Reporter