Don’t do anything controversial during India visit, ex-PMs advise Oli

Kathmandu, February 8

Former prime ministers, ministers and diplomats have advised Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli not to seal any new and controversial deal, but rather focus on as how to revitalise the stained bilateral ties during his upcoming visit to India.

During a discussion held at the PM’s official residence in Baluwatar this evening, ex-premiers Jhalanath Khanal and Madhav Kumar Nepal as well as ex-chairman of Council of Ministers Khil Raj Regmi advised the PM not to compromise on issues deemed against national interest.

According to the PM’s Press Adviser Pramod Dahal, they also recommended that PM Oli be candid with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi and seek to know New Delhi’s concerns regarding Nepal.

It should be recalled that PM Oli had earlier publicly opined that he had no clue what India actually wanted in Nepal.

Oli had invited all his predecessors, former foreign ministers, former foreign secretaries, and ex-ambassadors to India to consult and get inputs.

Members of the newly set-up Eminent Persons Group to review Nepal-India treaties were also invited.

Nevertheless, ex-PMs Baburam Bhattarai, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, Lokendra Bahadur Chand and Sushil Koirala didn’t turn up.

While welcoming the guests, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa confirmed that PM Oli would be visiting India from February 19 to 23, a date proposed by India.

“Our relations had never ebbedthis way,” former prime minister Madhav Nepal said referring to the recently strained Nepal-India relations. “This visit should focus on reviving our old relations.”

According to PM’s foreign relations expert Gopal Khanal, the former PM also reminded Oli to bear in mind that he should not do anything against “national interests, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence”.

Another former PM Jhalanath Khanal suggested that Oli try to initiate execution of the concept of trilateral cooperation between Nepal, India and China for speedy economic development of Nepal and the region as a whole.

Former foreign secretary Madhu Rama Acharya opined that this should be a goodwill visit and focus on confidence building and re-orienting bilateral ties “back-to-track”.

PM Oli assured them that he would not do anything against national interest, sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.