With an intent of opening a "new chapter" in ties with Nepal, India today announced a slew of sops for it focusing on 4Cs -- cooperation, connectivity, culture and constitution -- amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to review any aspect of the 1950 Treaty that may be of concern here.
As Modi wound up his two-day "historic" visit during which he sought to allay Nepal's apprehensions, India announced its decision to expeditiously assist in building of some key roads, cooperate in power sector and increase the number of scholarships from 180 to 250. Modi, the first Indian prime minister to visit Nepal in 17 years, stressed the importance of the ongoing peace process and Constitution-writing to the Nepalese leadership with a promise to help them with a "pace and manner at which they are comfortable".
Briefing media persons on the visit, External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin said during his meetings with leaders of various political parties, Modi was told that his speech at the Constituent Assembly last evening had "touched hearts and minds" of the people of Nepal. The Nepalese leaders termed the visit as "historic" and said they had never heard anyone from India speak as Modi did.
Quoting the leader of Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) Prachanda, who had led a decade-long armed movement before joining the mainstream about seven years back, Akbaruddin said, "you have won the hearts and minds of people of Nepal".
Another leader told Modi that his visit was "historic" which will take the relationship to a "new era".
With regard to the demands from Nepal for review of the 1950 India Nepal Friendship Treaty which governs the ties, Modi told the Nepalese leadership that his "doors are open". The Prime Minister told the Nepalese leadership that "he is willing to review any aspect of the 1950 Treaty which Nepal feels requires a review. It is best to clarify once and for all this aspect," Akbaruddin said. "And we now await any suggestion that Nepal may like to give," he added.