Nepal gears up for Indian President’s visit
Kathmandu, Oct 21 (IANS) Nepal authorities were on Friday gearing up for Indian President Pranab Mukherjee’s upcoming visit to the Himalayan nation starting from November 2.
An advance team from New Delhi comprising officials from security, protocol, the Indian External Affairs Ministry and the President’s Office arrived here on Thursday to assess the situation and other logistics ahead of the visit.
Mukherjee has visited Nepal many times in the past while holding various positions in the Indian government.
Mukherjee is embarking on the three-day visit on the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Bidhya Devi Bhandari.
Besides Kathmandu, Mukherjee is scheduled to visit Janakpur, Pokhara and Lumbini.
Janakpur and Lumbini are two famous religious sites of Hindus and Buddhists and Pokhara in western Nepal is a scenic city also known as the City of Lakes.
In Janakpaur, Mukherjee will attend a civic reception organised in the premises of the famous Ram-Janaki temple and is slated to lay the foundation stone for one portion of the Hulaki road (Postal road) which is being built by India.
This road will link Nepal’s entire southern belt through various feeder roads of over 1,700 km in length.
President Mukherjee will also address a function at Kathmandu University and another by India Foundation, a think tank initiated by BJP General Secretary Ram Madhav.
Mukherjee’s visit to Nepal in November will be the first by an Indian President in almost two decades.
Then President K.R. Narayanan had last visited Nepal in 1997.
Earlier in February, former Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli during his visit to India had extended the invitation to President Mukherjee to visit Nepal.
But the Oli government in May abruptly cancelled President Bhandari’s scheduled visit to India due to “lack of preparations and pressing domestic issues” — as a result there was uncertainty over Mukherjee’s Nepal visit.