After Kalam, Nepal awaits Pranab visit


Kathmandu : Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee is arriving in Nepal on a three-day visit next Monday, the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu said.

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Mukherjee would be the first Indian minister to visit Nepal after the transformation of the Hindu kingdom into a secular republic and the formation of a Maoist-led government.

“The visit is part of ongoing high-level bilateral interaction between the two countries,” the Indian Embassy said in a statement.

“The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss the entire gamut of our extensive bilateral relationship with Nepal.”

Mukherjee’s visit will come exactly a week after the arrival of former Indian president and renowned space scientist A.P.J. Abdul Kalam.

Kalam arrived in Kathmandu on a two-day visit Monday. After meeting with the monks of a monastery in Kathmandu, the scholar held people spellbound as he delivered a talk on the dynamics of societal transformation.

There would be peace in the world, Kalam said, if there was order in the nation. There would be order in the nation if there was harmony at home.

Kalam will address the 14th convocation of Kathmandu University at a programme in picturesque Dhulikhel town Tuesday.

However, Mukherjee’s visit is not likely to be greeted with similar rapture.

There is growing anger in Nepal over the delay in the repair of the embankment of the Kosi river, which was destroyed by floods in August.

On Monday, Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda had to clarify to the interim parliament what his agenda had been during his visit to India last week to attend the BIMSTEC Summit, during which he also held bilateral talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.