India doesn’t meddle in Nepal’s internal affairs: Envoy

Kathmandu, Jan 25 (IANS) Contrary to the accusation from a section of people in Nepal, India has never interfered in the neighbouring country’s internal matters, Indian Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said on Wednesday.

Speaking with reporters on the eve of 68th Republic Day of India in Kathmandu, Rae said: “We keep on listening in Kathmandu during some political speeches that India is interfering in Nepal’s internal matters, but actually people in Nepal do not feel that way.”

India has never meddled in the internal political matter of Nepal, but has always been cooperative intending to resolve the crisis Nepal is facing, said the Indian envoy who is going to complete his three-year tenure in February-end.

The role of India in Nepal has been a matter of political and diplomatic debate in Nepal since long due to close proximity, open border and visa-free travel facilities on both sides of the border, along with cultural, religious, economic and social similarities.

Sharing India’s desire and interest in the neighbouring country, the envoy said that Nepal and India must work closely in order to boost an all-round development of both countries.

India has always been thoughtful for the progressive economic development of Nepal, he said, adding: “We have been keeping up with the efforts that could help Nepal-India bilateral relation grow positive and stronger.”

“All aspects of social, cultural and economic relations between the two countries has been truly extraordinary, and we want this to be always positive and progressive,” Rae said.

“Nepal’s instability won’t benefit India. Therefore, we hope that whatever political changes, conflicts and dilemmas Nepal is facing currently, be resolved as soon as possible. It will be beneficial for progressive change in both countries,” he added.

Speaking in the same vein, he also informed that the Detailed Project Report (DPR) of Pancheshwar Multi-purpose Project is in the final stages and if implemented, it will incubate several other developmental chains across Nepal. He also mentioned that the project has gained the local support.

The proposal to build Pancheshwar Multi-purpose Project on the Mahakali River in far-western Nepal had been floated by Nepal and India almost two decades ago. However, the project had been delayed for several reasons.

Things finally started moving forward when Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited Nepal in August 2014.

Pancheshwar Multi-purpose Project is supposed to generate 5,000 megawatt electricity.

He said, “I believe this mega development will strengthen economic cooperation between the two countries and lay a foundation for further economic development in future.”

He also informed that one transmission line between Nepal and India is under rapid construction and is expected to complete in two weeks, from which Nepal can expect extra 100 megawatt of electricity.