In an apparent message to India, Nepal Thursday said issues of domestic politics should not be mixed with foreign relations and that there was a need to “revisit” some treaties between the two countries. Nepalese Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay said time has come to find the obstacles which are holding SAARC back and dismissed suggestion that the regional grouping could move ahead without Pakistan at this juncture.
The envoy insisted that the Nepalese government was trying hard to meet the demands of the Madhesi community and take forward the democratic transition of the country. He said Nepal Government was bringing two constitutional amendments to resolve it and the steps should be seen positively.
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“We firmly believe that we should refrain from mixing issues of foreign relations and internal partisan politics…. It is harmful for our national interest,” Upadhyay said during an interaction at Foreign Correspondents Club.
Upadhyay, while expressing his country’s strong commitment to further boost ties with India, at the same time said there was a need to “revisit” some treaties with mutual consent considering the changing context and that differences should be resolved with “open hearts”.
Replying to queries on SAARC, he said while it was not yet time to move ahead without Pakistan, it should “come clear on terrorism”.
“What is the problem we should identify and resolve it,” he said, adding there was a need to revisualise philosophy of SAARC.
Asked if Pakistan should be kept away from SAARC, he said, “The time has not come for it. We must rethink whatever is the mistake and address it. We should wait for the realisation to come. We should provide sufficient time to realise. Time has come for them to come clear on terrorism.”
On Nepal’s growing ties with China, he said the “unique” Indo-Nepal ties should not be compared with anyone. Without specifying issues, the envoy also said both India and Nepal should appreciate each other’s sensitivities and “walk together” for making the ties stronger.
Referring to the Madhesi issue, he said, “Two constitutional amendments are brought. Other amendments are being brought. In democracy, we should follow the rules. The government is trying for consensus. It is an ongoing process.
“I request very humbly to take a very, very positive account on this because politics is different, trade is different and diplomacy is different. Diplomacy must be quiet and respectful. It should be in favour of both the nations or the people” he said.
Nepal has been facing political crisis since the adoption of a new Constitution in September 2015. Madhesis, mostly of Indian-origin, have been opposing the new statute as they fear it would marginalise them by dividing the country into seven provinces. India has been favouring amicable solution to the issue.
In July last year, KP Sharma Oli had resigned as Nepal’s Prime Minister in the face of fresh political turmoil over the Madhesi protests against the new Constitution. He was succeeded by Pushpa Kamal Dahal popularly known as Prachanda.
The envoy also sought removal of trade imbalance which is in India’s favour and said India should give free market access to Nepalese goods and abolish non-tariff and para-tariff barriers. “Time of has come to extend the idea of Make in India to Make in Nepal too,” he said.