Monday 20th May 2024
Monday 20th May 2024
गृहपृष्ठInternationalIndia, Nepal have decided to leave problems behind: Indian External Minister Jaishankar

India, Nepal have decided to leave problems behind: Indian External Minister Jaishankar

In an interview with Indian newspaper The Hindu, External Minister Jaishankar explained his “generosity and firmness” policy for neighbouring countries like Nepal as outlined in his recent book

KATHMANDU – Indian Minister for External Affairs S. Jaishankar has said that India and Nepal have mutually decided in the past few weeks to move ahead following months of disputes over border issues.

In an exclusive interview with Suhasini Haidar, National Editor and Diplomatic Affairs Editor of The Hindu, Indian External Minister Jaishankar said India will always encounter problems with democratic neighboring countries.

The Hindu’s Haidar interview with External Minister Jaishankar follows the recent release of his book titled ‘The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World.’

In his book, External Minister Jaishankar writes that “generosity and firmness” must go hand in hand with neighboring countries.

In the interview, Haidar raised a question about the success of the ‘firmness’ policy amid frosty relations with Nepal after the promulgation of the new constitution and the release of its revised map incorporating territories that India also lays claim on.

“As I said, don’t take an incident as the ultimate yardstick of judgment. Problems will happen. I mean, show me any two neighbours between whom there are no problems. Most of our neighbours today are democracies. The point is, they have their politics, we have our politics, there will be issues. The question is, how do you manage it? How do you find the common points, mitigate the issues of friction? At the end of the day, for when the smoke clears after a year, two years, three years, you say, have I moved forward? And I would suggest, looking at the neighbourhood, there is an enormous change,” he responded.

“Since your questions focused on Nepal, I would say, yes, there was a period where we had issues, but I think we can clearly see in the last few weeks India and Nepal have decided [to move ahead] and it’s something mutual,” he added.
Many Nepali and Indian analysts believe Indian External Minister Jaishankarto to be a hardliner who as a former Foreign Secretary, had pushed for nearly a five-month long unofficial blockade against Nepal as a retaliation for the refusal to withhold the constitution promulgation.

Though he had flown to Nepal in September in 2015 to stop the country from promulgating the new constitution, the Constitution Assembly had already unveiled it. The unofficial Indian blockade was immediately imposed thereafter.

Though the blockade was later lifted, the relationship between the two neighbors did not see much improvement. It further worsened after Nepal released a revised map incorporating the territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura.

However, recent high-level visits from India, including the one made by the Foreign Secretary, is said to have helped in softening ties between the two countries.

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