Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli on Sunday said he tried to clear the “misconception” about Nepal’s new Constitution during his India visit when he also assured the Indian leadership that he would not allow the Nepalese territory to be used against any of its neighbours.
Oli said he has always emphasised on maintaining Nepal’s territorial integrity and sovereignty while making bilateral dealings and during his visit to India, he tried to maintain “high dignity” of the country.
He said that during his high-level political meetings in Delhi, he had “tried to clear all doubts regarding the misconception” about the new Constitution of Nepal, opposed by Madhesis who are largely of Indian-origin.
“The constitution has treated all the citizens equally and there is no bias against any community,” he added.
The 64-year-old premier said his maiden six-day state visit to India, which was his first overseas, had been instrumental in clearing past misunderstandings and contributed in strengthening the relations between the two neighbours.
, speaking as chief guest at a programme here.
“Nepal–India relations can see ups and downs in the course of time and move hither and thither but there is no way that the relations could take a wrong course”, he said, while terming the visit as “very much successful” that “made significant contributions in strengthening the bilateral ties”.
Oli, who is expected to travel to Beijing next month, also rejected reports that he had played the China card against India.
“I don’t believe in playing cards for one against the other. We want to develop friendly relations with both our neighbours on the basis of equality and mutual benefits,” he clarified.
He said he had properly conveyed the message to the Indian leadership that Nepal would not allow its territory to be used against any of its neighbours.
“We will definitely honour and respect India’s genuine concerns and interests,” he pointed out.
Nepal-India ties suffered when Madhesis led a nearly six- month-long violent protest over better representation in the Parliament and the federal structure of the new Constitution that divides their ancestral homeland.
The agitation, which claimed over 50 lives before being called off unexpectedly, also saw blockade of key border trade points with India that led to acute shortage of essentials like fuel and medicine in the landlocked country.
The various MoUs signed during his visit to India including construction of 1,792 km-long postal roads, opening of Visakhapatnam port and using Banglabandha corridor for Nepal were major achievements, he said.
Former minister and former Ambassador of Nepal to India Bhesh Bahadur Thapa said Nepal should try to resolve its internal issues through political means by holding dialogue and also make diplomatic efforts to improve relations with India.
Another former minister and leader of Rastriya Prajatantra Party, Prakash Chandra Lohani, said Indian bureaucracy should come out of the “colonial mindset” and try to deal with neighbours in the new geopolitical context as Nepal cannot ignore its northern neighbor while trying to maintain friendly relations with the southern one.
Senior leader of ruling CPN-UML Pradip Gywali said Nepal- India relations should not be made victim to the activities of some sections of the people, who are expressing their dissatisfaction to certain provisions of the Constitution.
Deputy chief of mission of Indian embassy Binay Kumar said the premier’s recent visit to India was very important and India has also conveyed message of friendship during the high-level talks.
Referring to the border blockade, he said Nepal should not play the blame game, instead it should focus on harnessing its resources and India is ready to extend necessary assistance in that direction.
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