Nepal PM Sher Bahadur Deuba to visit India from August 23

Vastavam web:  Nepal Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba, who took over from Maoist leader Prachanda in a power- sharing deal in June, will visit India on his first official trip overseas from August 23, government sources said today. Deuba’s five-day state visit will come at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The detail itinerary and agenda of the visit are yet to be finalised, sources close to the prime minister said. The 71-year-old veteran Nepali politician known for his close ties to India took over the reigns of Nepal when the Himalayan nation was navigating a political turmoil over the implementation of the Constitution and unrest in the southern plains due to the Madhesi agitation.

Deuba’s visit will focus on implementing the past accords that were signed during his visits to India in 1996, 2002 and 2004 as prime minister.”We have received two clear instructions from the prime minister,” two senior officials engaged in the preparations for the visit told The Kathmandu Post.”First, the prime minister is keen to implement the past agreements reached during his three visits to India. While dwelling on the status of the India-funded projects, the prime minister also plans to discuss the issues, if any, that have impeded the projects,” said a senior official.

The two-decade old Rs 30,000-crore bi-national Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project and other energy and infrastructure related projects are likely to be high on the agenda during Deuba’s visit, officials said.In 2002, India and Nepal had agreed for the early conclusion of the Agreement for Mutual Legal Assistance and updating the Extradition Treaty and construction of four Integrated Check-Posts along the Nepal-India border. Both sides had called for a plan of action for the early commencement of the Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project. But a detailed project report is yet to be completed. “Time has come for both sides to find out why there has not been desired progress on several understandings reached in the past,” the Post quoted Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign relations adviser to Deuba as saying.