India-Nepal: what can be done to reduce the trust deficit?

With public mistrust of India already at a high, Oli's government is feeding rumours about the Indian hand meddling in the country’s affairs.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | New Delhi | Published:May 11, 2016 12:41 pm
k p oli, narendra modi, nepal, nepal govt, india nepal relations, anti india, india in nepal, indian govt, oli govt, modi govt, india news, nepal news, india nepal latest The need of the hour is to have a clear communication between the two political establishments in order to start a dialogue. (File/Express Photo)

An unstable Nepal is not in India’s interest. This is something India does not want but this is exactly what has happened after a few months of stability in the Himalayan country.

Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli was in a precarious situation last week as the Nepali Congress and Maoist leader Prachanda met, sparking off speculation that Oli’s days as PM were numbered.

Oli, suspicious of an Indian hand in destabilising his government, recalled his own ambassador in Delhi, a political appointee of the Nepali Congress. Oli reportedly mulled the expulsion of the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu but decided against it.

In India, South Block believes this is a clear case of “externalising” domestic political churning.

While there is no way to clearly establish the truth about the allegations by Oli’s government based on his suspicions, the anti-India narrative has considerable acceptability in Nepal. This has been reinforced in the last 12 months after India projected itself as its neighbour’s “saviour” following April’s devastating earthquake and the crisis that followed differences over Nepal’s new Constitution. The disruption of supplies to the landlocked country which led to extreme hardship added to the anti-India sentiment in Nepal.

With public mistrust of India already at a high, Oli’s government is feeding rumours about the Indian hand meddling in the country’s affairs. Nepal continues to play the China card which always makes India uneasy. Meanwhile, it is once again plunged into a political crisis.

The need of the hour is to have a clear communication between the two political establishments in order to start a dialogue and not to be swayed by their respective “suspicions” which will do more harm than good to the relationship.

In the current situation, the Nepal government should quickly reschedule the President’s visit, which was abruptly cancelled on the weekend, so that such a conversation at the highest level can take place and the trust deficit can be reduced.

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  1. J
    May 11, 2016 at 11:35 am
    What Modi really wants is for Nepal to be a puppet state like Bhutan. Not. Going. To. Happen. Nepal does have friends in India, but the fundamentalist, racist PM isn't one.
  2. A
    May 11, 2016 at 12:04 pm
    Nepal needs to wait for 2019 to come soon.
  3. B
    boka boralo
    May 11, 2016 at 1:36 pm
    nepal is ruled by incompetent feudal-minded boors who have no clue about public service and governance. they are ingrates and my hope is that the good people of nepal will see through their greedy tactics and discard their agendas. wake up people of nepal, you are being led by fools who repeatedly stoke the 'blame india' flames as a cover to their incompetence and corrupt agendas.
  4. B
    boka boralo
    May 11, 2016 at 7:58 pm
    oh my dear Nepali brothers and sisters, can you please list a few accomplishments of your leaders and government over the last 50 years??? IS there even one??? Are you going to forever blame India for all your problems and regression?? Those of you sounding gleeful in pointing out how China is now in Nepal, do you think that is something to be proud of??? seriously??? Are your aspirations limited to being a better pawn to China or India, who are both after their geopolitical interets?? tsk tsk.. wake up and take some accountability for a change. or keep going on with your India-bashing mindset and see where that will take you.. see where that has taken you over the last 50 years, dont have to look much further. surely you know the saying: naachna najanne, aangan tedo.
  5. H
    May 11, 2016 at 6:39 pm
    Nepal is a stable country only Indian ruling elites and couple of Bihari immigrants of Nepal are trying to portray Nepal as instable country. Its India's failure by blocking Nepal border and consquently China became successful in Nepal. Nepalese no more wants to be blind follower of India as India always made Nepal poor, weak and underdeveloped by exploting Nepal. Nepal need a second transit which China provided according to international law. Now its right time to regulate Nepal India border by using pport and visa.
  6. D
    Damaru Prasad
    May 11, 2016 at 1:42 pm
    Nepal is now under Chinese sphere of influence and Indians desperate to regain it. Now China will stay in Nepal. Pity is Indians will have no say at all. What's more, with Dragon romping in Kathmandu , stan will have more reception than Indians.
  7. J
    May 12, 2016 at 4:14 am
    You are right Boka, but the point is that those leaders have been propped up and manited by Delhi, which wants a feeble and dependent Nepal on the northern border. That's not how a true friend would act.
  8. J
    May 11, 2016 at 10:35 am
    If India wants a stable Nepal, blocking its borders, limiting fuel supplies, and conspiring to overthrow its government isn't the way to go about things!
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