KATHMANDU, June 5 (PTI) Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said on Monday that officials from Nepal and India should sit down and discuss resolving the border issue between the two countries.
Prachanda visited India from May 31 to June 3, his first official trip abroad since taking office in December 2022. On Thursday, he met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the two countries signed seven agreements and launched six projects including new rail services.
The two leaders also vowed to resolve the thorny border dispute in a spirit of amicability.
Responding to questions from lawmakers about the agreements reached during his visit to India and the approval of the citizenship amendment bill by the House of Representatives, Prachanda said both Nepal and India should sit down for discussions and put the map in front of them.
“Several issues were discussed during my visit to India. We focused on issues related to national interest and sovereignty. Talks were also held on the issue of maps,” the prime minister told parliament.
Asked about wearing a saffron-colored shawl while praying at the Mahakaleshwar temple in Ujjain, Madhya Pradesh during his visit, Prachanda said, “No one should do anything to demean the people’s religion”.
“I went to Indore to study waste management and IT development there,” he clarifies.
“I believe in secularism,” the prime minister said when asked by some lawmakers if he was a theist or an atheist.
Prachanda said the citizenship bill was passed to the President for certification after being passed by both houses of Parliament. Many people have been stripped of their citizenship because of the bill’s long non-certification, he added.
During Monday’s meeting, Prachanda was asked questions on several different issues, including the Pancheshwar multi-use project, border security issues and the citizenship bill.
Relations between India and Nepal have become tense after Kathmandu released a new political map in 2020 showing three Indian territories – Limpiadura, Karapani and Lipulek – is part of Nepal.
India responded strongly to this, calling it a “unilateral act” and warning Kathmandu that such “artificial expansion” of territorial claims is unacceptable to India.
Nepal is important to India in terms of India’s overall strategic interests in the region, and leaders of both countries often refer to the age-old “Roti Beti” relationship.
The country shares a border of more than 1,850 kilometers with five Indian states – Sikkim, West Bengal, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.
Landlocked Nepal relies heavily on India for the transport of goods and services.
Nepal goes to sea through India and the vast majority of its needs are sourced from and imported through India.
The Indonesian Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 formed the cornerstone of the special relationship between the two countries.
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a Syndicated News feed, the content body may not have been modified or edited by LatestLY staff)