KATHMANDU, July 1: Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, India coordinator of Eminent Persons Group (EPG), said that the EPG group prepared the joint report in consensus aiming to resolve the bilateral problems between Nepal and India. The Nepal-India EPG, a joint mechanism consisting of experts and intellectuals from Nepal and India, a group formed to study and report on the overall relations between the two neighbors including 1950 Peace and Friendship treaty, trade, environment, border and hydropower, on Saturday agreed to update all the treaties and agreement reached in the past in accordance with the current reality of the two countries.
Reporters Club Nepal President Rishi Dhamala talked with Koshiyari focusing on the report. Here is an excerpt of the interview.
The EPG meeting concluded yesterday. What report did you prepare?
We have finalized a common document in consensus of both sides. This report is now the property of Nepal and Indian government.
What bilateral problems have the EPG document resolved?
The report we prepared in unanimous. I cannot tell what is in the report now. We will submit the report to both prime ministers. They will consult on the document first before unveiling it.
What agreements have you reached on the 1950 Treaty?
I don’t want to make anything public about the agreements of 1950 Treaty now. We have already finalized on this issue as well. They have been finalized in agreement of both sides.
Is there any border problems?
No dispute at all regarding border.
How in Indo-Nepal relation now?
Nepal-India bilateral relation is very positive. Both the prime ministers get on very well and have deep respect toward each other. Therefore, positive outcomes and consequences will be realized. The report will be beneficial to both countries. Trust me.
Nepal has not yet become able to achieve the development as expected. What do you think?
You should ask this question to the political leaders of Nepal. But it is important to understand why the development projects in Nepal including the projects of Nepal-India partnership are being implemented in sluggish pace.
Will the Indian railway come to Nepal?
The Indian railway will come to Nepal as agreed between Nepal and India government. But, how and when? … you should ask your government, not Bhagat Singh or Indian government.
The EPG, which first met in July 2016, consists of members from Nepal: Dr Thapa, Nilambar Acharya, Suryanath Upadhyay and Dr Rajan Bhattarai; and members from India: Bhagat Singh Koshyari, Mahendra P Lama, Jayanta Prasad and Dr BC Upreti.