Nepal Today

Friday, April 17, 2009

BJP to re-craft Nepal policy [Excerpts]

Kathmandu, 18 April: In this season of national elections in India, many issues including security, religion and development have been hotly debated, But foreign policy has largely been confined to manifestos, Dinesh Wagle reports in The Kathmandu Post from New Delhi.
Among major parties, Bharitiya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto is more elaborate on foreign policy. It has Nepal policy clearly stressed. The party blames the ruling United Progressive Alliance for ‘biases that have influenced’ Indian responses to Nepal in the past years.
“The BJP will recraft India’s Nepal policy to rid it of the UPA’s biases that have influenced India’s response to events in Nepal with which our country shares a common civilisational and cultural history,” says the manifesto.
“India-Nepal relations must be based on friendship, mutual cooperation and harmony of interests, says BJP whose leader L.K.Advani aspires to lead the next government.
“Towards this end, existing arrangements will be reviewed and revised bearing in mind mutual interests and benefits on basis of dialogue. The BJP would like to see Nepal emerge as a stable, prosperous country, and will strike to strengthen age-old fraternal ties.”
The ruling Congress party, on the other hand, hardly mentions a South Asia policy.
What about BJP’s vow to’ rid’ Nepal policy ‘of UPA’s biases’ and review ‘existing arrangements’?
Does that man BJP, if it comes to power, will push for revival of monarchy and reversal of secularism in Nepal?
“No, no, “ said N.N.Jha who contributed to the BJP manifesto.
“Those things are to be entirely determined by the people of Nepal. The review of existing arrangements is for the1950 peace and friendship treaty, which Nepal has been seeking to review. But we will have to hear more from Nepal on specifics if we come to power.”
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