KATHMANDU, April 18: Foreign affairs experts has claimed President Bidya Devi Bhandari’s five-day state visit to India to prove a milestone concerning the Indo-Nepal diplomatic relation.
According to experts, President Bhandari’s visit, although it is a ceremonial visit, and not executive, will be important as the post ‘President’ is not as unstable and changeable as posts like Prime Ministers or ministers in view of the current Nepalese political context.
“It is President Bhandari’s first official visit to India after she assumed her office in 2015. A high level of discussions will take place regarding Indo-Nepal bilateral relation. It is going to be an occasion when President herself will carry the message of the upcoming local poll to our neighbor India, with whom we share age-old bilateral relationship,” said UML MP and foreign affairs expert Dr Rajan Bhattarai.
Former Ambassador of Nepal to America, Dr Shankar Sharma views that such diplomatic visits should be focused on garnering as much benefits. He said, “Our foreign policy toward India must be oriented to harboring a long-term benefit. As our closest neighbor, and as we are interdependent to each other, we must believe that President Bhandari’s visit to be fruitful.”
However, experts argue that though we can gain positive support from foreign countries in respect of the local poll – which is taking place in Nepal after 19 years-gap, the local poll is our national and constitutional need.
“President Bhandari’s state visit is important. It is her goodwill visit. She will talk about issue such as local poll with Indian Prime Minister and President. But, most importantly, local poll is not Indian government’s need. It is Nepali people’s need, constitutional need and our national need,” said former ambassador of Nepal to China Rajeshwor Acharya.
President Bhandari landed at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi Monday afternoon where she was received by the Indian Minister of State for Women and Child Development Krishna Raj.
But as soon as President Bhandari was received by the State Minister in New Delhi, its news turned notorious on Nepali social media slamming the Indian government to have insulted Nepal President and Nepal’s nationality.
But experts suggest State Minister receiving Nepali President is not a bigger deal as it is Indian government’s protocol regarding such diplomatic occasions.
“Diplomatic visits occur frequently in a country, and we should be conscious on who must receive whom in such occasions. When Indian President Pranab Mukherjee came Nepal, President Bhandari, breaking the protocol had received Mukherjee and was give guard of honor at the Tribhuvan International Airport,” said Bhattarai.
“But Every state has its own official procedure. It’s Indian’s government’s protocol to receive a diplomatic guest through a State Minister except once when Prime Minister Man Mohan Singh himself had received Late former Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala,” he added.
“We must be conscious about such protocol. It is Nepal’s culture to take ‘any guest as a form of god’, or might be we have given a grand reception, but we can’t expect the same. We should not have such aggressive and baseless comments regarding other’s diplomatic issues,” said Acharya.