Millennium Post

My visit will improve bilateral ties: Prachanda

The Maoist chief, who became Nepal’s premier for the second time on August 4 taking the reign of the country from the pro-China K P Oli, said he was taking the four-day visit starting from September 15 as a “challenging opportunity.” 

“I am confident that the visit (to India) would not only normalise the relations that went through some bitter experience in the recent past, but also build a strong foundation for mutual trust,” he told the International Relations and Labour Committee of the Parliament on Saturday. 

Later at an interaction on Indo-Nepal ties organised by Nepal Institute of International Relations, Prachanda said he would like to urge all to let him “take risk as a leader”.

Soon after he took over, Prachanda sent special envoys to India and China in a bid to improve ties with both countries. He accused Oli government of creating a rift between people from the hills and the plains. “The country cannot be prosperous without strengthening national unity,” he said. 

Prachanda has said disagreements with the Madhesi people - inhabitants of the southern plains who share strong cultural and family bonds with Indians - over the federal boundaries in the new Constitution would be sorted out by mid-October. 

Nepal’s ties with India had strained after a months-long border blockade last year by the ethnic minority protesters over the new Constitution, which they claim is discriminatory to their interest. The Oli government accused India of imposing an “unofficial blockade” on the landlocked nation to support the Madhesi demand of more political representation.

Prachanda, whose first stint as Nepal’s premier from 2008 to 2009 came to an end due to disagreement with the military over his attempt to sack the army chief, has three major tasks cut out for him: concluding the peace process, implementing the new Constitution and improving relations with India, according to leading Nepalese daily The Kathmandu Post.
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