Sher Bahadur DeubaNAVESH CHITRAKAR
The upcoming visit of Nepal’s Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba to the Vibrant Gujarat Summit — to be held from January 10 — will provide an opportunity for Kathmandu and New Delhi to turn the page over the controversy -ridden phase of the Kalapani dispute and start addressing the substantial issues, a veteran Nepalese diplomat has said.
Former Ambassador of Nepal to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay said India should begin the much required Foreign Secretary-level dialogue to resolve the lingering bilateral irritants. “From the non-delivery of COVID-19 vaccines, to the territorial problems and ensuring access of Nepalese farmers to urea, there are several issues that need to be addressed during the visit of Prime Minister Deuba to India,” he said over the telephone from Kathmandu.
He said the visit, though aimed at the business summit in Gujarat, is symbolically significant as it is the first time that a PM from Kathmandu will visit following the bitter spat over the Kalapani border row that lasted over two years.
Mr. Upadhyay who served as Nepal’s envoy to India during the 2015-16 blockade said, Mr. Deuba has defeated challengers within his party and is in a position to hold dialogue with India on all issues that are of bilateral importance.