Cancellation not linked to ambassador’s recall: Thapa

Kathmandu, May 7

Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa today clarified that the recall of the Nepali Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay was not linked with the government’s decision to cancel President Bidya Bhandari’s India visit.

“The government had issued both the notices to Ambassador Upadhyay — cancellation of the president’s visit and the notice recalling him — at the same time,” Thapa told the Legislature Parliament today.

He clarified that the government had decided to cancel President Bhandari’s visit owing to the death of six people and injury of more than 40 people due to natural calamity in the Ujjain district of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh where Bhandari was supposed to attend a religious function.

Clarifying other reasons for the cancelled visit, Thapa said the president was scheduled to reveal the government’s policy and programme and the preparations for her visit was incomplete.

Thapa said the government had requested the Indian government to cancel the president’s visit and the president had thanked the government of India for the invitation and informed that she would visit India at another opportune time.

He said this incident would in no way complicate Nepal-India relations, but instead strengthen them in a mature way. He said the president was scheduled to take part in the religious function besides meeting with political leaders in New Delhi during her India visit.

On the other hand Thapa clarified to the House that Ambassador Deep Kumar Upadhyay was not recalled because of his activities and the recall was not related with cancellation of the president’s India visit in any way.

He clarified that the government decided to recall Upadhyay with the intention to strengthening bilateral relationship with India in a better way as per the spirit of the government. “The government has nothing to do with his political background and had informed that he should continue when he had asked about his status as soon as the NC-led government fell,” he said. Thapa said the media had blown up the issue out of proportion.

Earlier, lawmakers including NC leader Prakash Saran Mahat had questioned the government’s intention in recalling Ambassador Upadhyay and they had expressed concern that the incident could have a negative impact on Nepal’s relationship with India.

However, another Deputy Prime Minister Bhim Rawal, while addressing an interaction at Reporters Club today, said Ambassador Upadhyay was recalled because of his anti-national activities that included his visit with the ambassadors of other countries to sensitive places in the Tarai where an agitating was on.