Nepal is willing to settle the current dispute with India through dialogue based on “sovereign equality and mutual respect”, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, co-chairman of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP), has said.
In a message delivered in a video conference, jointly hosted by the International Department of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the schools division of the NCP on Friday, Prachanda said Nepal wants to resolve bilateral issues with any friendly country “based on sovereign equality, mutual respect and understandings”.
Although he did not mention India, his reference in the context of the current dispute over certain territories, including Kalapani, was obvious. “We believe that in a civilised world, coercion, intimidation and self will should not have any role in resolving conflicts between and among nations,” he said.
Prachanda, who praised China — “China today has capability and willingness to take appropriate role in handling global humanitarian crisis,” he said — also made it clear that Nepal will not endorse the $500-million grant under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) agreement (with the US). “Any kind of support attached with security alignment that contradicts with our Constitution cannot be accepted,” he said. “Any development support from friendly countries that honour Nepal’s sovereign independence and non-aligned policy will be welcomed.”
Prachanda’s assertion before the Chinese authorities came as an assurance that he unconditionally trusts China, and at the same time warned Prime Minister and NCP chief K P Oli that he will have to face opposition from within the party if he tried to push though Parliament the deal with the MCC. A section of the NCP is opposed to the deal, contending that its provisions undermine Nepal’s sovereignty in the name of development.
The video conference that has triggered a division within the ruling party, with half-a-dozen prominent leaders questioning its timing and intent in the context of ongoing India-China tension along the LAC in Ladakh, is believed to have taken place at the behest of the CPC. The Chinese side had assured Nepal that its 16 hilly districts that shared border with Tibet stood great chances of development, the way China has developed Tibet.
Calling Kathmanu-Beijing relations as time-tested and trouble-free, Prachanda said, “Nepal stands firm and resolute on one-China policy, and supports Taiwan’s peaceful reunification…. The NCP wishes to work together with CPC for common development, prosperity, peace and harmony,” he said, adding that the Belt and Road Initiative will bring opportunities to the Himalayan nation.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines