Nepal PM to visit India later this month

The visit has been tentatively fixed to start from October 21 and will last for 4-5 days.

Kathmandu: Nepal`s Premier Baburam Bhattarai
is set to undertake a crucial visit to India, his first to the
country since assuming the top post over a month ago, and is
expected to discuss issues relating to a bilateral peace and
friendship treaty, economic cooperation and the Constitution-
drafting process.

The visit has been tentatively fixed to start from
October 21 and will last for 4-5 days, sources close to the
Prime Minister said.

The India trip of Bhattarai, the second Vice-chairman of
UCPN-Maoist, will be significant as it comes at a time when he
is facing protests from hardliners within his party, who are
opposing the 4-point deal inked with the Joint Madhesi Front
while forming the coalition government and handing over of
keys of the arms container to an all-party Special Committee.

It is also crucial for Bhattarai to secure support from
the opposition parties, including the Nepali Congress, for his
efforts to conclude the peace process and promulgate a new

During the high-level talks in New Delhi, Bhattarai is
expected to discuss with the Indian leadership the ongoing
peace process, integration of Maoist army with the Nepal Army,
drafting of the Constitution, Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship
Treaty of 1950, bilateral relations and economic cooperation.

Unlike Maoist chief Prachanda, who chose to visit China
before going to India after becoming Prime Minister,
Bhattarai, a scholar from JNU, has preferred to visit New
Delhi first.

Bhattarai had also held talks with Prime Minister
Manmohan Singh during his recent visit to New York to attend
the 66th General Assembly of the United Nations.

The Nepalese Prime Minister has promised to conclude the
peace process, including integration of Maoist combatants with
the army and preparation of a draft Constitution, by November
end, when the twice-extended tenure of the Constituent
Assembly expires.

Bhattarai is also expected to visit China after he
returns from India as he has already received an invitation
from Beijing.


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