$1 billion line of credit for Nepal

India not to interfere in neighbouring nation: PM

$1 billion line of credit  for Nepal

Assuring Nepal that India did not want to interfere in its internal affairs, Narendra Modi, the first Indian Premier to visit the Himalayan nation in 17 years, on Sunday stressed that their border should be a “bridge” and not a barrier, as he announced a $1 billion Line Of Credit to the country.

As India makes efforts to deepen its diplomatic and economic engagement with its neighbours, Modi said it would like to see the rise of Nepal as a developed nation and proposed a “HIT” formula—Highways, I-Ways and Transways—for its development.

Seeking to allay fears here of Indian interference in Nepal’s affairs, the prime minister said India has no intent to “dictate” anything to Nepal which should choose its own course in its endeavour to build a stable and prosperous democratic republic.

“Nepal is a truly sovereign nation. We have always believed that it is not our job to interfere in what you do but to support you in the path you decide to take,” he said.

Modi, who arrived here on a two-day visit to Nepal to a rousing reception, was addressing the Nepalese Constituent Assembly. It is only the second time that a foreign leader was addressing the Parliament with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl being the first to have the honour in 1990.

Deviating from protocol, Modi’s counterpart Sushil Koirala received him at the Tribhuvan International Airport. Modi was given a thunderous applause as he began his 45-minute speech, telecast live nationally, with a few sentences in Nepali. 

The speech came just hours after Modi's talks with his Nepalese counterpart Sushil Koirala, during which the two sides signed three agreements, including one regarding the amendment of Terms of Reference of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project on the Mahakali river.

“I have come here with the goodwill and love from one and a quarter billion people of India,” said Modi in Nepali, which prompted members to thump their desks.

Stating that India’s relations with Nepal is as old as the Himalayas and the Ganga, Modi said, “Border should be a bridge not a barrier between the two neighbours.

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