India ready to `re-visit` 1950 Peace treaty with Nepal

Last Updated: Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 22:24

Kathmandu: Heeding to Nepal`s demand,
India on Sunday said it is willing to "re-visit" the 1950 Peace
and Friendship Treaty that governs the bilateral ties but the
initiative rests with Nepal as "clarity" is required.

Winding up his successful three-day visit here,
External Affairs Minister S M Krishna also said India wanted
an Extradition Treaty to be signed but would wait patiently
till Nepalese side is ready for it.

"We are open to it," Krishna told reporters just
before returning home.

Krishna, who met leaders from the across the political
spectrum including Maoist leader Prachanda during his stay
here, pressed for pushing forward the peace process in Nepal
and early drafting of the new Constitution and said India
would "assist" in these efforts.

Rejecting Prachanda`s allegations about India`s
interference in Nepal`s internal affairs, Krishna said he had
conveyed to him yesterday the displeasure over his "virulent
anti-India statements made in the recent days" and hoped he
would "give up" such impressions.

Justifying the need for revising the 1950 treaty, he
said 60 years have past since it was signed and world has
changed with Cold War ending and new international order
emerging.

"We are entirely willing to re-visit this treaty but
the initiative has to come from Nepal. There has to be enough
clarity (from Nepal)," Krishna said. "There has to be enough
thought put into what they want India to do in this."

The issue of revising the 1950 Treaty was flagged by
the Nepalese leaders whom Krishna met during his visit here.
The Maoists, particularly, have been pressing for scrapping
the treaty, saying it was unequal.

Asked about the delay in signing the proposed
Extradition Treaty between the two countries, Krishna said
India would "certainly like to move forward" on it but is
willing to wait till the Nepalese side is ready.

India has been keen on this treaty, but lack of
consensus among political parties in Nepal is delaying its
signing.

"Sometimes there is success, sometimes there are some
delays... India has enormous patience," Krishna said while
noting that "whatever has been suggested by India is good" for
the bilateral relations.

Summing up his visit, Krishna said, "there was a lot
of goodwill among the political leadership of Nepal and the
majority wants good relations with India, which is justified
considering the historical, civilisational and geographical
links between the two countries."

Krishna said the Indian side had brought to the notice
of Nepal that its territory was being used for anti-India
activities.

"We want the government of Nepal to prevent such
unhealthy activities which have been going on here. They have
assured us that Nepali territory will not be allowed to be
used for hostile activities against India like smuggling of
fake Indian currency, they will be more vigilant," he said.

"We look forward to their cooperation," Krishna said.
Krishna met Premier Madhav Kumar Nepal, former Prime
Minister G P Koirala, Prachanda and a number of other leaders
here amid indications that the political parties here have
been nudged to work together for conesensus which is necessary
for the peace process and drafting of new constitution.

Krishna said his visit here was mainly aimed at
"developing understanding about each others views and
sensitivities." He said he told Prachanda that India was not
interfering in the internal affairs of Nepal. "We want
bilateral relations at even keel."

The External Affairs Minister who met Prachanda here on
yesterday, expressed confidence that he had "understood the
role I had come to play in Nepal. And if he (Prachanda) had
any other views he would have given-up."

Underlining that India wanted a stable Nepal, Krishna
made it clear that India would not not like to dabble in
Nepal`s internal process." He also pointed out that Nepal
needed to move ahead in the peace process and frame a
constitution. Nepal has set May 28, 2010 as deadline for
accomplishing the task of drafting the Constitution.

"India stands ready to assist in all these issues but how
to go about it is for political parties of Nepal to decide."

To a question on the formation of high-level committee
to discuss the future course of action on the peace process
and drafting of constitution, Krishna said, "India supports
any move which brings about consensus among Nepal`s political
parties. We welcome any positive development in the area."

A joint statement issued at the conclusion of the
visit, said that, "India reiterated its commitment to assist
Nepal for strengthening peace, stability and democratic
institutions and economic development of the country.

PTI



First Published: Sunday, January 17, 2010 - 22:24

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