Foreign Minister Mahat dismayed at Nepali EPG members’ performance

Kathmandu, October 22

Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat has taken strong exception to the activities of the Nepali side of Eminent Persons Group, a Nepal-India joint mechanism set up to review existing bilateral treaties and agreements.

“They should do more homework than publicity,” said Minister Mahat. Four persons, including former ministers, a bureaucrat and a lawmaker, represent the Nepali side, while the Indian side is also represented by an equal number of eminent persons.

The foreign minister made such remarks while addressing a seminar ‘Nepal-India Relations: Continuity and Change’ in Dhulikhel yesterday. The function, which concluded today, was organised by Nepal Centre for Contemporary Studies, an institution headed by former Nepali Ambassador to India Prof Lok Raj Baral.

Mahat, during his extempore address, didn’t elaborate why he was not happy with the performance of Nepali EPG members. However, a source close to him told The Himalayan Times that the foreign minister was particularly concerned about ‘unnecessary publicity of EPG’s activities by some EPG members through social networking sites.

The EPG recently met for the second time in New Delhi and reached an understanding on contextualising Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty, 1950, which has remained controversial since its enactment since decades.

Former Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai, former foreign secretary Madhu Raman Acharya, Director of Centre for South Asian Studies Nishchalnath Pandey, EPG member from Indian side Jayant Prasad, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae and former Indian ambassador to Nepal Dev Mukherjee presented papers during the two day symposium.