Kathmandu, Nepal, August 20, 2019: Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar is arriving here on Wednesday, August 21, for a two-day visit to Nepal. Even though the purpose of recent visit to Nepal is to participate in the fifth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission, which is going to commence from Wednesday, he is scheduled to hold high level talks with various leaders including the Prime Minister and ruling head Nepal Communist Party (NCP) co-chair KP Sharma Oli.
Though the visit of foreign leaders, particularly from the neighboring countries, are common phenomenon, newly appointed Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s recent visit to Nepal is taken importantly in the political as well as diplomatic level. Every high level meeting between the two countries used to be contentious in suspicion of secrete deal.
It is said that to be held Joint Commission Meeting will review the overall state of bilateral relations and various areas of cooperation such as connectivity and economic partnership, trade and transit, power and water resources, culture, education and other matters of mutual interest. However, the critics used to say that there would be secrete deal even going beyond the formally affirmed issues.
Following the promulgation of the new constitution in 2015, bilateral relations between the two neighboring countries- had got soured further triggering a trade blockade on the India–Nepal border as India had taken the new constitutional provisions discriminated against the Terai people, who share social and family relations across the border.
As government of both the countries command strong mandate in the parliament, some have believed that Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s recent visit to Nepal would be able to find common ground of mutual benefits by reducing the formerly soured relations. Considering to the communist led government in Nepal, India used to suspect Chinese interests would be served in Nepal.
Considering to the geopolitical as well as overall situation, some critics have a suspicion that something would be cooked going beyond the limit of the scheduled issues for formal dialogue between the Nepalese authority and the Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar.
Not only the critics but also the leaders from the government head NCP also suspect that Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar’s recent visit to Nepal would concentrate Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal to change the guard of the incumbent government.
Newly appointed Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) Chief Samant Goel had come to Nepal just one month ago on July 21, 2019 and held a secret meeting with some influential leaders in Nepal including Dahal. Though Goel’s visit to Nepal was not given formal status, the issues related to the discussion were also kept secretly.
As Goel had shortened his scheduled three day visit to Nepal into two days after Prime Minister and NCP Co-chair KP Oli did not agree to visit him, the Prime Minister Oli loyalists suspect that Dahal led camp of the government head NCP would influence Indian external affairs minister S Jaishankar to change the head of the government.
Referring to the agreement made during the merger of the party, Dahal has repeatedly been insisting that he should be allowed to lead the government after two and half year tenure of the Prime Minister Oli. However, Oli has been denying bringing into implementation the agreement.
As per the formal schedule program, the fifth meeting of the Nepal-India Joint Commission, which was established in June 1987, will be chaired jointly by Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Dr. Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Minister of External Affairs of India leading their respective delegations.
During his Nepal stay, Indian Minister of External Affairs Jaishankar will pay courtesy calls on President Bidya Devi Bhandari and Prime Minister Oli. Likewise, he is also going to hold dialogue even with other leaders during his two days stay in Nepal.