India-Nepal relations in a new transition

By The Hindu

As a unique characteristic, Nepal’s internal political fundamentals continue to shape its foreign policy choices. In the process, what gets lost is the scope of pursuing ‘enlighted self-interest’.

In such a scenario, any inbound or outbound delegation is seen from a different prism, and anything discussed or not equally gives ample space to interpretation and misinterpretation. The year 2020 marked China’s unprecedented aggression, with an aim to counter India’s conventional edge in Nepal and South Asia at large.

Accordingly, China’s geo-strategic, economic and infrastructural drives were made tempting to a precarious Nepal with its fragile democracy and the adulterated ideological standing of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN).

The CPN is a divided house, and publicly, this was known when Nepal’s Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli dissolved the House of Representatives in late December 2020. The move was termed ‘unconstitutional’ by the experts and the country’s Supreme Court is hearing writ petitions against Mr. Oli. In fact, the Court has called for ‘serious constitutional interpretation’. This merits to be seen even as a moral denial of the Oli government’s stature as a ‘caretaker government’.

Amidst the domestic political chaos, the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali (picture), visited New Delhi for the sixth meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Commission on January 15, 2021(, that was co-chaired by the External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar.

Business as usual
The keenly awaited meeting proved to be more focused on confidence-building measures such as exchanges of courteous remarks on significant and concrete progress made since the last meeting of the Joint Commission in taking forward several bilateral initiatives

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