One-Day Symposium on Nepal-India Relations

A one-day symposium on Nepal-India Relations entitled “Renurturing The Roots” was organized by GP Koirala Foundation on October 1, 2016 in Kathmandu. The key note speaker of the program was Dr. Seshadri Chari, national executive member of the BJP, the ruling party in India. Professor Anand Aditya of Tribhuvan University and Hon’ble Lal Babu Yadav, Member of Parliament of Nepal were guest speakers at the event. The program was chaired by the chairperson of the Foundation Hon’ble Sujata Koirala.
Dr. Chari highlighted the ancient ties that have existed between Nepal and India since time immemorial. Dr. Chari cited several Hindu scriptures and spoke of important Hindu pilgrimage sites in Nepal which are of great religious significance even in India.
The chair of the program Hon’ble Sujata Koirala said that it was normal for relations between Nepal and China to be occasionally shaky. However, she argued that it was important for Nepal to have good relations with India, and one way to do that would be to invite more speakers from India to Nepal and have important conversations with them. She further added that it was important for Nepal to put forward its issues honestly. Despite the border blockade that occurred in the wake of the earthquake which had led to anti-India sentiments in Nepal, it was now time for Nepal-India relations to have a fresh start in a way that would lead to progress in Nepal.
Further, she added that it was fortunate for Nepal to be located between two giant neighbors. Quoting the late GP Koirala she said that Nepal was located between two bold minds and that Nepal could take advantage of this fact. She suggested that Nepal and India co-operate in areas such as hydropower and trade. She expressed her dismay at the lackluster development of hydropower projects in Nepal by Indian contractors. She also said, “That Nepal is always willing to share benefits is well known.”
She posited that SAARC should be strengthened and that SAARC could be a platform for the development of positive relations between India and Pakistan. She added that other fronts such as BIMSTEC should also be reinvigorated, and that Nepal could play an important role towards this end. She said that peace and stability are the foundations of development and India could assist Nepal towards achieving both peace and stability. Speaking on the importance of SAARC, she said that the unity of SAARC countries is of great importance, if evils such as terrorism are to be countered in a time when the specter of terrorism was haunting rapidly developing countries like Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. She concluded with the note that India should learn to make sacrifices and lead a movement of unity across the continent.

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