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Seek consensus on constitution: Jaishankar to Nepali leaders

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  4 April 2015 12:00 AM GMT

Kathmandu, April 3: Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Friday wrapped up his two-day official visit to Nepal conveying a common political message from New Delhi to the leaders of the Himalayan tion that they must draft their new constitution on the basis of broader consensus and compromise. Jaishankar met President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala, Constituent Assembly chairman Subash Chandra Nembang, chairman of the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) K.P. Oli, United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN-M) chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal and leaders of an alliance of Madesh-based parties.

Though these meetings were held separately, the Indian foreign secretary conveyed two key messages from New Delhi to Nepal’s political leadership — that they must seek broader political consensus on the constitution-drafting process and that federalism was an interl matter of Nepal and India has no say in it.

He returned to New Delhi on Friday after wrapping up his Nepal visit which was part of his Saarc Yatra.

This was the second phase of Jaishankar’s visit to SAARC-member countries. He visited Bhutan on March 1, Pakistan on March 3 and Afghanistan on March 4.

“I conveyed to them that India is committed to working with the people of Nepal for a democratic, stable, peaceful and prosperous Nepal,” the Indian foreign secretary said in his departure statement, adding that India’s relations with Nepal are, and will continue to be, a matter of the highest priority.

In separate meetings with top political leaders on Thursday and Friday, Jaishankar highlighted the importance of consensus in the statute writing process and urged the leaders to filise the new constitution as soon as possible. “There have been discussions in New Delhi that there should be new dymism and vigour in bilateral relations,” Jaishankar told the leaders. As part of its “Neighbourhood First” policy, India was committed to strengthening its multifaceted and mutually beneficial relationship with Nepal, the Indian foreign secretary said.

“We support the aspirations of the people of Nepal for peace, stability and prosperity.” In his meeting with Madhesh-based leaders, Jaishankar made clear that federalism was an interl matter of Nepal and India does not have any prescription for what kind of federalism Nepal should have, or how many states and the modalities. “The role of democratic and republican force is key to bringing out a new constitution,” he told leaders from the southern plains of Nepal that border India. The constitution should be drafted on the basis of past agreements and mandate of the people, he said. (IANS)

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