Aug 1, 2018-
Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) National General Secretary Ram Madhav on Tuesday said Nepal could consider adopting ‘Look South Policy’ since it is landlocked with no direct access to sea.
He said this in his keynote speech during the inaugural session of Nepal-India Think Tank Summit 2018, jointly organised by the Asian Institute of Diplomacy and International Affairs (AIDIA) and Nehru Memorial Museum and Library (NMML) in Kathmandu.
The BJP leader said this policy would help Nepal make a strategic shift, changing the land based thinking to ocean based. Nepal could access the most happening region of Indian Ocean through Kolkata in India and Chittagong in Bangladesh and that this would not just help Nepal, but the other two South Asian countries as well, he said.
“By look south I don’t mean look to India. Today, oceans play an important role in the development of a nation. In the south, the Indian Ocean offers huge opportunity for Nepal.” Madhav, who is also the Director of India Foundation, said India supports Nepal’s quest of practicing parliamentary democracy and noted Nepal’s democracy has become mature over the years.
“Nepal now has stability which is vital for the success of democracy. India sees independent and stable Nepal as beneficial to it,” he said. In his special remarks, former Prime Minister and Nepal Communist Party Co-Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal lauded the recent visits of prime ministers of both the countries have spurred bilateral relations. He said there have been major developments in furthering the relationship in the recent past.
“In this context, think tanks should suggest practical ways to boost bilateral relationships,” Dahal said.
Connectivity is vital to development and even more so for landlocked and Least Development Countries (LDCs) like Nepal, the senior leader said. The proposed network of railways and waterways together with diversified airways and roadways would be game changer for Nepal, he said.
India’s Ambassador Nepal Manjeev Singh Puri, Minister for Industry Matrika Yadav and former Science Minister Ganesh Shah spoke on enhancing people-to-people ties between the two countries for mutual benefit.
Minister for Industry, Commerce and Supplies Matrika Prasad Yadav said such events should be able to create uniformity in the thought processes and understanding of people and the leaders. Nepal and India share a very close relationship.
News Published on The Kathmandu Post