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


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

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