Published: Sat, May 12, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

PM offers prayers at Janki Temple in Janakpur

PM offers prayers at Janki Temple in Janakpur

Tracing India-Nepal relations to the "Treta Yug" (the second of the four ages of humankind, according to Hinduism), he said Ayodhya's ruler Dasharath and Janakpur's king Janak had linked not only the two kingdoms but India and Nepal.

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Narendra Modi today visited Nepal's iconic Muktinath temple that is regarded sacred by both Hindus and Buddhists. That Nepal's then prime minister, K.P. Sharma Oli, was seen as having been forced to resign after a coalition partner supporting him quit allegedly at India's instance, did not help matters.

But he expressed hope in the future relations between the two countries as India was the first country which the Nepali PM visited officially after his swearing-in ceremony in which he had said that India is Nepal's first priority.

Coming just months after the devastating April 2015 quake, this fuelled anti-India sentiments in Nepal.

Earlier, Defence Minister Ishwar Pokhrel and Province 2 Chief Minister Lalbabu Raut received Prime Minister Modi at the airport upon his arrival. It was a powerful message which did not need to be articulated but was clear when Oli watched Modi pray, but refrained from joining in. Describing his trip to Nepal as a reflection of his government's commitment to "neighbourhood first" policy, Modi had said the Himalayan nation has entered a new era and India would continue to support it.

New Delhi's foreign policy failure can be gauged from the fact that Modi was the first Prime Minister to visit Nepal after a gap of 17 years. "This will act as foundation for strong people-to-people contact between the two nations".

Tripathi also said that India has not paid much attention to Nepal, whereas on the other hand China has been investing a lot. "Our ties are religious, based on deep faith and history and complement each other", Modi said. Police also arrested some students staging a sit-in at Tribhuvan University, asking Modi to say sorry to Nepalis for inflicting misery on them in 2015-2016.

Investment Board Nepal (IBN) recently granted the licence to Satluj Jala Vodyut Nigam Power Development Company, a subsidiary of Indian government-owned Satluj Jal Vidyut Nigam Ltd, to generate power from the Arun-III Hydropower Project, almost 500-km from Kathmandu.

"We covered all the issues", Nepal Foreign Minister added. The two countries have agreed to review the bilateral trade treaty. Oli said at a joint press briefing that the discussions were held in an open manner and it was very fruitful.

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