KATHMANDU, Oct 14: Political leaders from various parties have underscored the need for redefining Nepal-India relations in the changed political context in both the countries.
Addressing an interaction titled “Nepal-India Relations: Prospects and Challenges” organized by Nepal-India Friendship Youth Association in the capital on Sunday, the leaders also stressed the need for resolving differences and misunderstandings through negotiations to further strengthen the relations subsisting between Nepal and India.
UCPN (Maoist) youth leader Janardan Sharma said Nepal and India need to redefine the relations in tune with the changed time, consciousness and aspirations of the people in both the countries. "It is necessary to assimilate the changed time and context to further consolidate the relations between two countries," he said.
CPN-UML leader Pradip Gyawali said, "We had leaders who had personal contacts with top Indian leaders. The problems seen in the relations of two countries would have been settled easily," he said. "But with the demise of all those leaders, there is a gap now."
While mentioning that mutual distrust was the main challenge in the relations between the two countries, Gyawali argued that this can be resolved through increased interactions and talks between the two countries. He said that the two countries can work together in different fields including hydropower, tourism and economic cooperation.
NC leader Arjun Narsingh KC and Vice Chairman of Tarai Madhes Democratic Party Brishesh Chandra Lal said though some parties are trying to fuel anti-Indian sentiment for their partisan interests the relations between the two countries have always been cordial.
On the occasion, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Jayanta Prasad said Nepal and India had multi-faceted and multi-layered relations. Arguing that India can prosper only when its immediate neighbor does the same, the envoy said, "We should be able to focus on exchanges of science and technologies and expand regional cooperation at a broader level to further promote our relations."
Referring to the anti-Indian sentiments fuelled by some parties in Nepal time and again, the envoy said that India had never interfered in the internal affairs of Nepal.