Nepal Keen To Host Prez Pranab Mukherjee Next Month


Kathmandu: Nepal is keen to host President Pranab Mukherjee in September and efforts are on to arrange for his visit as the chief guest of a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the promulgation of the country’s new Constitution, a media report said today.

Kathmandu wants to host the Head of State of India as the chief guest at a ceremony to mark the first anniversary of the promulgation of constitution, which falls on September 19, The Himalayan Times reported quoting top officials and diplomatic sources.

“Nepali and Indian authorities are trying to arrange a state visit of Indian President Pranab Mukherjee to Nepal as early as in September before the prospective visit by Chinese President Xi Jinping,” the daily said.

There is speculation that the Chinese President might visit Nepal on a brief stop-over in mid-October while on his way to attend the BRICS Summit in Goa. With President Mukherjee’s visit, the Indian side wants to give a clear message that it has been working with Nepal despite some ups and downs in bilateral relations for one year, the daily said.

However, officials have not yet given any confirmation on President Mukherjee’s Nepal visit. As of now, officials in New Delhi also said there was no such visit scheduled for the President. However, President Mukherjee is expected to travel to some European countries mid-September.

The Himalayan Times also claimed that the Indian side might not be interested in President Mukherjee attending the anniversary of promulgation of the Constitution given New Delhi’s “reservation” over some of its clauses.

“If the Constitution is amended before the anniversary, a visit date in and around the anniversary of the Constitution promulgation could be fixed,” an official was quoted as saying.

The Nepalese government yesterday decided to send deputy prime ministers Bimalendra Nidhi and Krishna Bahadur Mahara to neighbouring India and China, respectively, as special envoys of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’.

Deputy Prime Minister Nidhi told reporters that the purpose of his visit to India was to invite President Mukherjee to visit Nepal and prepare the ground for the India visit of Prime Minister Prachanda, who received an invitation from his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on the day he was elected to the top post.