Former Nepal Prime Minister and Maoist chief Pushpa Kamal Dahal, popularly known as Prachanda, has renewed his call for trilateral cooperation among India, Nepal and China for joint projects in the Himalayan nation.
The United Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (UCPN) chief is currently on a four-day visit to the country following a trip to China last week. He had raised the issue of trilateral cooperation with the Chinese leaders, but India has not been enthusiastic in its response, with Union External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid telling a group of Nepali reporters that the time was not right. Despite Khurshid’s lukewarm response to the idea, Prachanda yet again brought up the issue during his address to the Indian Council for World Affairs, the External Affairs Ministry’s in-house think thank.
“Such a mega project should be mobilised in a joint venture with India and China. Also, I had discussed the ‘Lumbini project’ with India to develop Lumbini in Nepal, Sarnath Bodh Gaya and Kushinagar (as part of the proposed) Buddhist circuit,” he said.
Prachanda felt that trade and commerce were areas where Nepal could act as a “bridge”. And he advocated the revival of the trade routes, which linked India and China through the Nepalese territory.