On the whole, the PM’s visit marks a significant step towards normalizing Nepal’s relations with India

On the whole, the PM’s visit marks a significant tep towards normalizing its relations with India Nepal-India relations had strained following protracted blockade of key border points in the recent past. However, the present six-day visit to India by Prime Minster KP Sharma Oli is expected to have reduced the misunderstandings that had developed between the two countries. It is hoped that the visit, the first to a foreign country by the new PM and the first bilateral visit to India by the Nepalese PM since 2011, will help take Nepal-India relations eventually to new heights. Nepal and India inked a seven-point deal during the meeting of Oli with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday. Of late, the ties had been strained apparently because of India’s dissatisfaction with Nepal’s new Constitution promulgated on September 20. However, the unofficial blockade was ended on February 5 and life in Nepal is returning to normalcy slowly, by the day. Indian Prime Minster Modi has hailed the Nepal’s Constitution as a “significant achievement” after the first amendment to the constitution was made on January 23, four months after its promulgation. While hailing Nepal’s constitution as a significant achievement Modi has also stressed the need for further “consensus” and “dialogue” between and among the stakeholders. Modi has said that India is for peace, stability and development of Nepal. The security concerns were one of the agenda of discussion between the two PMs as both the countries share open borders that can be used by terrorists and other destructive forces. Each neighbour should respect the other’s security concerns and legitimate sensitivities. Sovereignty, territorial integrity and mutual respect are equally important to all neighbours.

Nine agreements and Letters of Exchange are incorporated in the seven-point deal cover such areas as energy, transit and trade, transit facilities as well as cultural exchanges. Both the countries have pledged to execute the agreements and also continue them to their mutual benefit. Among the various problems confronting Nepal, the energy has been given priority as the country faces power outages disrupting industrial and other development. Both the nations would stand to benefit from the exploitation of the hydro power that Nepal possesses in abundance. As per the understanding India will be supplying Nepal with 80MW power immediately for a few months as Nepal is facing an energy crunch. It would be supplying 600 MW by December 2017. The postal road in the Tarai is also to be undertaken and strengthened. MoUs on using Indian routes were reached to make traffic easier for Nepal’s trade with Bangladesh. It is also important to reckon that the eminent persons’ group has finally been formed to evaluate and look into the longstanding bilateral relations. On and off there have been concerns that the six plus decades old Peace and Friendship Treaty, signed in a particular context in1950, needs to be reviewed and both Nepal and India have taken the first concrete step towards a meaningful review of the same. On the whole, the PM’s visit marks a significant step towards normalizing its relations with India.

Date-expired food

It is harmful to consume date-expired food and medicine as they may have adverse impact on health. There must be a clear label showing the date of manufacture and expiry of all packed food items and medicines. The act of selling date expired food and medicine is punishable by law along with a fine. A number of domestic and international organizations had collected packed food items and medicine to assist the earthquake victims as immediate relief assistance. But many of them have been found to be date expired or not suitable for consumption. A similar case was reported in Dhading where date expired packed food items were found to have been stored to distribute to the quake victims. The Dakshinkali Battalion of APF had collected those items from various I/NGOs meant for the quake victims. The 14 types of date expired packed food items have been stored in District Administration Office, a law enforcing body. The DAO officials knew that those items were not fit for consumption. But they seem to be prepared for distributing them to the victims unconcerned with their health. What can one expect from the law-enforcing bodies when they themselves break the law and distribute inedible food?