Sunday, 3 March, 2024

Nepal-India Ties To Gain Newer Heights

Exchanges of high-level visits are a common thing among countries in modern times. If countries have close ties, visits from high dignitaries and luminaries take place frequently. Bilateral visits are often aimed at cementing economic and socio-cultural ties by exchanging views and holding dialogues not only at a higher level but also at ministerial and bureaucratic levels. The ongoing visit of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who is leading a Nepali delegation to India, is aimed at reinvigorating friendly Nepal-India ties by exchanging views pertaining to Nepal with his Indian counterpart, Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

This is the first time that Deuba is visiting India after he became Prime Minister last year. This is the fifth official visit by Deuba to India since he became PM for the fifth time last year. The three-day official visit to India should be seen as an attempt to break the ice regarding our relationship with India, which has seen some stagnation since former PM KP Sharma Oli was at the helm. During Oli's tenure, Nepal's ties took an unexpected turn because of his government's stance on the new Nepali political map. This has angered India. However, Deuba has tried to give a new dimension to Nepal's relationship with its southern neighbour through his recent visit. PM Deuba, while addressing a ceremony organised in his honour at the Nepali Embassy in New Delhi, said his visit focused on bolstering Nepal's ties with India and holding discussions on bilateral economic cooperation. He said that his visit would take bilateral ties to a new height and added that exchanges of high-level visits between Nepal and India like this would be fruitful to enhance bilateral relations. He lauded the role played by the migrant Nepali community in bolstering ties between the two close neighbours further.

Nepal's friendly relationship with India is marked by cultural and social affinity, besides economic cooperation. Nepal, needless to say, depends on importing Indian goods and exporting many of its products to its southern neighbour. Nepal conducts a considerable volume of trade with India while its currency is pegged with Indian currency. Nepal receives considerable remittance from its migrant communities in India. Importantly, Nepal figures in the high list of India as a nation sending remittances through formal and informal sectors. Besides strong economic ties, Nepal boasts of its deep cultural ties with India where the people-to-people relationship is one of the strongest in the world. All these suggest that Nepal and India are close neighbours whose relationship transcends political boundaries and economic activities.

PM Deuba's current visit will certainly help deepen our ties with the southern neighbour who too should show a big heart to facilitate its smaller neighbour in finding a way to boost up relations. Likewise, India must come forward to resolve the pressing issues about its cartographic dispute and the Eminent Person Group report. Now that PM Deuba has initiated the exchange of top-level visits, it is expected that the high-level Indian side too would come to Nepal to further bolster the relationship between the two nations. The recent visit, therefore, is an honest attempt to break the ice and take relations between the two close neighbours to a new height.