India-China rivalry putting Nepali leaders in uncomfortable situtation: BJP leader Madhav

Himal Press 30 Jan 2024
India-China rivalry putting Nepali leaders in uncomfortable situtation: BJP leader Madhav

KATHMANDU: Senior leader of India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), Dr Ram Madhav, has said that Nepal is always in a dilemma when making decisions as it is located between two emerging powers and competing countries.

“Nepal and India have their own kind of relationship. But there is another neighbor in the north, China, with which Nepal has a relationship. This sometimes puts the political leadership here in an uncomfortable situation,” Dr. Madhav said, addressing a program organized jointly by the Center for South Asian Studies (CSAS) and India Foundation in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

He suggested that since Nepal is a sovereign country, leaders here should make decisions and move forward in their own way. “Nepal and India are separate sovereign countries, but they can cooperate and progress towards prosperity,” he added.

Dr. Madhav also said that the people-to-people relationship between Nepal and India will never be affected. “There can be ups and downs in political relations, but it is not possible for the distance between the two countries given the cultural and religious aspects of the two countries as well as the centuries-old civilization and the open border,” he added.

He also said Nepal and India can jointly promote religious tourism by developing tourism circuits linking religious sites.

Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Foreign Affairs NP Saud said Nepal and India should focus on the development of religious tourism. “A large number of Indian tourists are visiting religious sites in Nepal like Pashupatinath, Muktinath, Janakpur, and Lumbini. Likewise, Nepalis are also traveling to Indian religious sites like Kedarnath and Kashi,” Saud said. “The two countries should work jointly in this regard.”

CSAS Director Dr. Nischal Nath Pandey said Nepal should be able to draw the attention of India which is focused more on the US, Europe, and other countries as it embarks on the path to become the third-largest economy in the world. “It will also be easier for India if it moves ahead by taking neighbors like Nepal into confidence,” he added.

Published On: 30 Jan 2024


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