India announces sops for Nepal

India announces sops for Nepal

With an intent of opening a “new chapter” in ties with Nepal, India on Monday announced a slew of sops for the Himalayan nation focusing on 4Cs — cooperation, connectivity, culture and constitution.

As Prime Minister Narendra Modi wound up his two-day “historic” visit during which he sought to allay Nepal’s apprehensions about the 1950 treaty revision, India announced its decision to expeditiously assist in building of some key roads, cooperate in power sector and increase the number of scholarships from 180 to 250.

Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Nepal in 17 years, stressed the importance of the ongoing peace process and Constitution-writing to the Nepalese leadership with a promise to help them with a “pace and manner at which they are comfortable”.

Briefing mediapersons on the visit, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said during his meetings with leaders of various political parties, Modi was told that his speech at the Constituent Assembly on Sunday evening had “touched hearts and minds” of the people of Nepal. 

 Quoting the leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Prachanda, who had led a decade-long armed movement before joining the mainstream about seven years back, Akbaruddin said, “you have won the hearts and minds of people of Nepal”.

With regard to the demands from Nepal for review of the 1950 India Nepal Friendship Treaty which governs the ties, Modi told the Nepalese leadership that his “doors are open”.

“The prime minister said it is best for friends like India and Nepal to discuss every issue. And if there are concerns or issues on any specific manner, India is open to discuss and consider it,” the MEA spokesman said on the 1950 Treaty.

A Joint Statement issued later said, “The two prime ministers (Narendra Modi and Sushil Koirala) agreed to review, adjust and update the Treaty of Peace and Friendship of 1950 and other bilateral agreements.”

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