Prospective transformation: From mendicancy to negotiation

KATHMANDU, Aug 20: Dr. Sundar Mani Dixit provided a holistic overview of Nepal-India relations on the eve of the fifth India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting to be held in Kathmandu. Talking to the journalists in Reporters Club he stated, ” We have to let go of the image of Nepal as a mere mendicant, always ready to beg, we have to be skilled at negotiating to bring all our issues forward for mutually beneficial ties”. He also stated that previous projects that were stalled can be brought to the table for mutual discussion on the matter.

However, Dr. Dixit also stressed on the importance of the outcome of the meeting to reach the common man. “There are thousands of Nepalese coming across the open borders and are constantly harassed and robbed by the Border Police, this has to stop, any decision taken at the high-level committee must make a change for the better in the life of the common man, otherwise there is no point in even having two Prime Ministers sitting down for a meeting”. He said that it is the common man that suffers the most. He has urged both the leaders of India and Nepal to find an immediate solution for the relief and respite of the recent flood victims in both the nations.

He also said that India and Nepal have long historical bilateral ties, and Prime Minister Modi who is heading a Hindu Party has a soft corner for Nepal because the majority of Nepalese are Hindu’s. He further stated that “the foreign minister should learn when to speak, and not remain silent on the issue even when the Prime Minister of Pakistan called PM Modi, ‘Hitler’. Both Pakistan and India are our friends, but it is unfortunate that we call India our closest neighbor and fail to speak in their support when they need it the most. Where is our political ethics, is this supposed to be the behavior of the current government?” he remarked.

He spoke about India’s development, as to how they were rapidly increasing in technology, space exploration, and also talked about the progress in individual life regarding the banking and telecom sector. “Every Indian today has a cell phone and a bank account irrespective of whether there may be money in it or not. India has progressed and Nepal needs to take the opportunity to use this to their favor” he stated. Talking about Dr. Jaishankar’s visit, Dr. Dixit opined “we have to make sure to receive him well, he is an experienced and thorough, we have to prove to India that we are their friends and we need mutual support for projects benefitting both. We have to extend a true hand of friendship”.

He said that Nepal no longer needed to beg, and has urged leaders to maintain the dignity of the country. Skillful negotiations are required to bring all the issues to the table that the result should benefit the common man.

Finally Dr. Dixit made a short remark regarding the health of PM Oli, he said ” the health condition of the Prime Minister who is a public figure and in the most important position should not be hidden, if anything happens to him the country will slide to instability again, it is risky, there should be a detailed bulletin regarding his health. The public has the right to know, I think there is something more to this, there are so many online ways where a patient can be monitored, why does he have to go all the way there? This is public information and should be accessible by all”.