INDO-NEPAL RELATIONS OBSERVED AT THE 3rd BALESHWAR AGRAWAL MEMORIAL LECTURE

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NEW DELHI — Antar Rashtriya Sahayog Parishad-Bharat (ARSP) organized a lecture in Delhi, on the fourth death anniversary of Mr. Baleshwar Agrawal, who for decades worked on nurturing relations, contacts, and connectivity with the Indian diaspora. The lecture was held to understand and assess the Indo-Nepal relations: in the context of Emerging Geopolitical situation in South Asia, which was presided by Honourable Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Information Technology, Government of India, while Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Nepal was the Chief Guest in the lecture.

The lecture was started with a welcome note by the President of ARSP and former Ambassador Virender Gupta, followed by few lines said by Shri Ravi Shankar Prasad, Minister of Law & Justice and Information Technology, Government of India. He said “India doesn’t run by anyone’s charity, but by its hard work and dedication. The biggest bridge between India and Nepal is its culture, tradition, and faith. Nepal should consider building many hydropower projects and focus on improving relations between the two nations.” He further added that the borders of India are protected by strong Gorkha forces and assured both India and Nepal would synergise and strengthen its relations further.

In the lecture, few notes were shared by Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat, former Minister for Foreign Affairs, Republic of Nepal. He said “the Indo-Nepal relations are connected by geography, history, religion as well as culture. Even the people of the two countries are connected like our rivers.”

Dr. Mahat further added “the free movement of people between India and Nepal stood apart from all the conflicts happening among countries in the world. The investment made by India in Nepal had helped it in diversifying its economy and promote industrialization. BBIN [Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, and Nepal] initiative has been incubated to focus on connectivity and cooperation in the trade as well as the energy sector. The convergence of resources for mutual progress is much looked forward.”

Dr. Mahat even stressed that Nepal foresees greater investment from India in connecting both the countries through road, railway, and information which could become a reality only if both the nations have the political will and commitment. Both the countries are steadfast in condemning terrorism, in holding support for the developing countries, and in contributing to the global initiative against climate change. He further added that the water resources of Nepal can be beneficent for India and we can work together in conserving monsoon rainfall in Nepal dams and can utilize it during water scarcity, for irrigation and electricity needs. He even said that the usage of natural resources can be a win-win formula for both the countries as Nepal has seven percent growth rate this year and hope it will contribute further to its economy. He emphasized that there was no substitute for Indo-Nepal relations and that Nepal was looking for a more meaningful and strategic partnership with India to face the upcoming challenges and development.

The lecture was concluded by felicitating Dr. Mahat with a small memo given by Mr. Keshav (Shyam) Parande, Secretary General, ARSP.