Seminar on Indo-Nepal ties begins in Patna

New Delhi, April 26:

The first Indo-Nepal public diplomacy seminar on “Emerging trends in Nepal-India relations” kicked off in Patna today.

On the occasion, Maoist leader and Minister for Physical Planning and Works Hisila Yami said Nepal would work in close cooperation with both India and China to achieve economic progress.

“We are studying the Indian system of healthy political competition and multiparty democracy. Through the April 10 constituent assembly election, we have got a mandate to forge stronger relations with India,” she added.

CPN-Maoist’s foreign department chief and guest speaker CP Gajurel said the Maoists would never play the “India card” or “China card”.

“We have special relations with the two countries and we will not play off one against the other. Instead, we will try to make Nepal economically sound by learning from the experiences of both the countries,” he said. Gajurel also said there was scope for amendment to the 1950 Nepal-India treaty.

Former foreign secretary of India Shyam Saran presented a working paper on the facets of India-Nepal relations. He pointed out that Nepal could learn a lot from the Indian model of multiparty democracy.

Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar said Nepal-India relations ought to go to new heights and get better.

Nepal’s ambassador to India Dr Durgeshman Singh chaired the opening session of the seminar. Nepalese economy expert Dr Mohanman Sainju chaired the economic session. The seminar has been organised by India’s foreign ministry and the Bihar government and will conclude tomorrow.

Some 45 members, including leaders of major political parties, journalists, intellectuals, experts, academicians and senior bureaucrats from Nepal, are taking part in the seminar. The Nepali delegation is led by Yami.