This refers to “For a true reset” (April 10). Indo-Nepal relations have traditionally been cordial with both countries leveraging bilateral cooperation and exchanges in several strategic areas. In 2014, Prime Minister Modi, while addressing the Constituent Assembly of Nepal, set out a detailed framework for a privileged bilateral partnership and hoped for the friendship “to live long”. However, despite India’s immediate assistance in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in April 2015, its support to the Madhesis during Nepal’s constitutional crisis and the months-long blockade of truck trade that followed strained its relationship with Kathmandu.
It is heartening to note that constant reiteration of trade and co-operation being the “foundational pillars of Nepal-India partnership” has helped calm the anti-India rhetoric and pro-China sentiments in Nepal. Nepal PM K P Sharma Oli’s visit to India has provided a broader underpinning to the overall bilateral partnership and signalled a recalibration of ties. The renewed commitment to promote development projects that meet “Nepal’s priorities”, agreement to build an electrified rail link between Raxaul and Kathmandu, providing inland waterway connectivity to transport cargo, and mutual cooperation on agriculture is welcome. It is imperative for India to strengthen business-to-business linkages and people-to-people contacts with Nepal to counter China’s rise in reordering the Asian balance of power.
Shreyans Jain New Delhi
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