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Don't interfere, experts suggest India on Nepal matters

Publication Date : 15-08-2012


In a rare gesture, Indian leaders and experts have converged that New Delhi must stay away from Nepal’s internal affairs and continue to engage in a way that appears to be non-intrusive.

Some even went on to suggest that New Delhi give up its “big-brother attitude towards South Asia” and be “humble which ultimately helps to address India’s genuine interests in the region”.

The views were expressed during an interaction organised by the International Relations Department of the South Asian University — a joint academic effort of the Saarc — on its premises in the Indian capital on Sunday.

Asked about pervasive suspicions about Indian intentions in Nepal, the general secretary of ruling Nationalist Congress Party DP Tripathi said, “A few weeks ago, I had an extensive discussion about Nepal with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The conclusion I drew from that is New Delhi now has the perspective of engagement but non-interference in Nepal.”

“If such a perspective continues to prevail, Indo-Nepal relations could burgeon despite the complexities,” added Tripathi, who also chairs Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee—a forum of Indian leaders across the party line to support the democratic cause in Nepal.

Professor of International Relations at Jawaharlal Nehru University Kamal Mitra Chinoy lambasted some high-level Indian officials for "interfering" in Nepal’s domestic polity.

“Just a few years back, one of our ambassadors tried to act as a viceroy in Kathmandu. This does not help in fostering the bilateral ties between Nepal and India,” said Chinoy, apparently talking of former Indian ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood.

“India should not interfere in Nepal’s matters but if any help is sought by Nepal, it should be ready to assist. And such assistance should be technical like financial help,” he added.

Retired major general of Indian Army Ashok Mehta was of the view that the Indian establishment has learnt a lesson from its Nepal policy over the past two years.

“Both India and Maoists seem to be learning lessons. The Indian establishment has realised that Nepal’s polity could not move ahead to a logical end by keeping the Maoists out of the process,” said Mehta.

“The Maoists have also realised that their anti-India rhetoric is not going to help them.”

The panellists, veteran Nepali Congress leader Pradip Giri included, also spoke on Nepal’s current political imbroglio and possible ways to end the stalemate.


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