Indian leaders want peace restored: DPM

NEW DELHI: Deputy Prime Minister Bijay Kumar Gachhadar, who arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit, today held separate meetings with National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, Lok Sabha Speaker Meira Kumar and Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao.

According to Gachhadar, they discussed Nepal’s peace and constitution-drafting processes and other bilateral issues, including security concerns.

Gachhadar said the Indian officials were eager to know whether Nepal will be able to write the new constitution within the deadline of May 28. “All Indian dignitaries that I met are concerned about Nepal’s peace process. They want to see peace restored and democracy strengthened in Nepal,” he said.

Gachhadar apprised the Indian dignitaries of Nepal’s efforts in bringing the peace process to a logical end and in bridging the gap between the ruling coalition and the opposition parties.

He said the Indian side assured him of continuous support to the peace process and overall development of the country.

In response to a journalist’s query, the DPM said he was in favour of the current government taking the peace process to a conclusion.

Gachhadar said Speaker

Kumar expressed his desire to hold an interaction with Nepal’s CA members on experiences in

constitution-making and also on parliamentary proceedings that India had been following since independence.

Kumar, who hails from the border state of Bihar, was very keen to see Nepal charting the right course, according to Gachhadar.

“We are very close to completing the new constitution. As such, who should lead the government, an issue being raised by Maoists, does not hold any significance,” Gachhadar said.

The DPM said the Maoists have pledged through agreements that they would disarm, return seized property and abide by democratic norms; therefore, “their call for a revolt is uncalled for.”

“Everybody doubts the Maoists’ intentions,” he said.

He said his India visit was both official and personal as he was here also to exchange ideas with his “old political friends.”

Saying that Indian companies were interested in investing in Nepal’s infrastructure projects, particularly in railways, road and hydro power, he said he will discuss these issues with Indian leaders and investors.

Gachhadar is scheduled to meet other Indian ministers and top political leaders during his stay here.