INTERNATIONAL

Nepal PM Oli says India visit aimed at normalising ties

K.P. Sharma Oli defended the Constitution as ‘inclusive and democratic’. —FILE PHOTO: AP

K.P. Sharma Oli defended the Constitution as ‘inclusive and democratic’. —FILE PHOTO: AP  

PM defends the new Constitution as ‘inclusive and democratic’

Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli on Monday said his maiden visit to India this week is aimed at bringing bilateral ties back on track by clearing “misunderstandings” even as he defended the new Constitution, opposed by Madhesis, as “inclusive and democratic”.

“There were some misunderstanding in the relations with our neighbour (India) and we have to correct the misunderstanding and bring back the relations on track. For that I am visiting India soon,” Mr. Oli said ahead of his eight-day visit to India starting on February 19.

Mr. Oli’s much-anticipated visit to India at the invitation of Prime Minister Narendra Modi comes days after agitating Madhesis, largely of Indian-origin, ended their crippling protests and blockade that had soured the bilateral ties. “My visit to India is aimed at normalising the past uneasy situation and also to further promote our age-old ties,” Mr. Oli said in his address at the International Conference of Asian Political Parties (ICAPP) special workshop on “Democratic Transition in Nepal”.

“The year 2015 remained a landmark in our history as we were able to promulgate the new Constitution despite the hardship facing the people due to the five-month-long blockade in the country’s southern border, even after suffering from the devastating earthquake that hit the country 10 months ago,” he said.

“The new Constitution promulgated on September 20, 2015 was inclusive and democratic as it has all the features of a democratic Constitution including guarantee of human rights, independent judiciary, social justice and equality,” he asserted. — PTI

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