Galvanizing Nepal –India Relations: Push for potent mechanism

KATHMANDU, Aug 21: Former Ambassador to Denmark and the Executive Chairperson of the Centre for Social Inclusion and Federalism Prof. Vijay Kant Karna spoke at length with Nepali Reporter Executive Editor Mr. Birat Krishna Thapa regarding the current state of the India-Nepal relations keeping in mind the visit of the External Affairs Minister of India Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar. Prof Karna also teaches at the Political Science Department of Tribhuvan University.

The fifth India Nepal Joint Commission is the talk of the town ongoing in Hotel Yak and Yeti in Kathmandu. This is an opportune moment for both the Nations to discuss and review bilateral relations along with a range of other issues that pose a hurdle to the cordiality of relation. Speaking from his office in Kumaripati he stated “the Nepal-India meetings at various levels should be more regular. It is an opportunity for both the nations to readjust the working mechanism, and abide by the decisions taken at all the levels, including at the PM level”

Former Ambassador Prof. Karna said that “there have been many lucrative projects which have been beneficial for both the nations. There are a lot of projects that are lagging behind, although we have seen successful project completion regarding railway from Janakpur to Jaynagar, and the Amlekhgunj pipeline, there is still more to do regarding the Postal Highway and especially hydropower projects. There as to be a specific timeline and a strong commitment needs to be made in order to complete all the projects in its stipulated time. There should be specific performance indicators in a time-bound manner, and delegates from both sides should sit for regular meetings in order to materialize all such projects.  He said “India- Nepal relations also have various problems that need to be tackled, in areas of security and keeping a check to crime. Gold smuggling has been rapid from Lhasa; the open border is a continual area of exchange of criminals. These are issues that need to be taken into consideration and both sides need to effectively overcome these hurdles through their respective administration”.

He sees the visit of Dr. Jaishankar the External Affairs of India has a sign of positivism. “It has only been just three months of his swearing-in since the Narendra Modi government took over for its second term. This shows that India prioritizes Nepal and is keen to address all the issues in order to take the bilateral relations to a greater height. As I said earlier we need to have a stronger mechanism in order to work in terms of trade there is a huge deficit, and in order to tackle this we need investment from India that would enable us to get into export, all existing issues can be discussed and solutions have to be concrete and definite that would be long-lasting. Both nations have to build trust and move forward with unity”.

The India-Nepal Joint Commission meeting is underway to holistically review the bilateral relations between the two nations.