10 Points: Why PM Modi's Nepal trip is important
PM Narendra Modi will be in Nepal and when all important elections are round the corner this is being seen as a strategic move
New Delhi, May 10: PM Narendra Modi's Nepal visit is being seen as an important and also strategic move in the election year. He will kick start his visit from Ram Janaki Temple in Janakpur which is symbolic. Sources said the focus of Modi's trip -- his third to Nepal after taking over reins as PM in 2014 -- will be to further build on Oli's visit here last month and implement pending proposals1. Modi will probably be the first Indian prime minister to visit Nepal thrice. Also, Nepal will be the first South Asian country where the PM would be visiting thrice, the sources said2. They said both sides are looking at finalising a pact on carrying out survey for the Kathmandu-Raxaul rail project and start negotiations for amending the treaty of transit for implementing the inland water transport project3. Certain changes in the existing pact are required for opening up the inland waterways between the two countries4. The sources said the Indian entity for carrying out the survey for the tail project has been identified and that the aim was to complete the survey later this year or by first part of next year5. Asked about China's recent proposal to build a corridor to Nepal also linking India, the sources said the issue was not discussed during Modi's talks with Chinese President Xi Jingpin in Wuhan recently and that India was focusing on bilateral connectivity projects with Nepal6. On whether India has reservations on engaging in power trade with Nepal if the project involves China, the sources said India is in the process of changing rules for cross border power trade7. It is not specific to China, the sources said, adding it will be applicable for Bhutan as well as Bangladesh. They said "it is not that India will not take power because China's involvement"8. The intergovernmental trade and transit commission and the joint steering committee on power sharing met last month to prepare the ground for Modi's trip to Kathmandu9. During Oli's visit, both sides had vowed to step up the overall engagement and take the relationship to newer heights on the basis of "equality, mutual trust and respect"10. After talks with Oli last month, Modi had said India would always stand by Nepal in its quest for all-round growth, asserting that deeper cooperation between the two neighbours would strengthen democracy in that country.
News24Bureau with Agencies