FM calls on Indian ministers

NEW DELHI: Visiting Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala met India's Defence Minister AK Antony and Home Minister P Chidambaram here in New Delhi today.

Koirala said that both the sides during the meeting agreed for better policing of the Indo-Nepal border, intelligence sharing and frequent meetings between the security authorities of both the countries in order to prevent criminal and terrorist activities against both the countries.

"There has been a spike in violence across the border areas. Controlling violence in Nepal is in the interest of both the countries," Koirala told the Indian Ministers. According to Koirala, Indian Home Minister Chidambaram agreed to assist Nepal to modernise Nepal's policing in the border areas so that the security authorities can effectively play their role in containing crime and nabbing the anti- social elements.

"Both the ministers expressed concerns over the deteriorating law and order situation in Nepal and said they were ready to do everything they can to ameliorate the situation in our country," Koirala told The Himalayan Times. The Indian defence minister also agreed to continue welfare scheme for Indian Gurkha Army personnel.

Koirala also drew attention of the Indian ministers over the reports of Indian border security force -- Seema Suraksha Bal -- mistreating Nepali residents entering India. She asked the Indian side to sensitise the border force not to repeat any mistake since it would spread negative message about India in Nepal.

"The Indian Home Minister said he was unaware of such grievances but assured that such issues could easily be sorted out if the both sides shared information," Dr Chiranjivi Nepal, advisor to the foreign minister who was present in the meeting informed.

Asked if the Indian ministers raised security concerns, Koirala said they raised the issue of Kashmiri militants using Nepali soil to pump fake Indian currency into Indian market and foment terrorism in India. She said that Nepal was always committed not to let anybody use its soil against India and was ready to take action against any elements that wanted to create problems for the southern neighbour.

"We've always been a good neighbour of India and therefore we won't tolerate any criminal activities against India," Koirala said.

Asked if she requested the Indian Defence Minister to provide weapons, Koirala said she did not. She, however, said India agreed to continue its assistance of providing basic trainings, supplying army fatigues and other similar assistance. Koirala is scheduled to meet Indian PM Dr Manmohan Singh tomorrow.