Indian President’s Visit Successful
Indian President Pranab Mukherjee returned to New Delhi on Friday evening after concluding his three-day state visit to Nepal. President Bidya Devi Bhandari bade farewell to President Mukherjee at the VVIP lounge of the Tribhuvan International Airport. President Bhandari had received him at the same VVIP lounge of the TIA on Wednesday. Vice President Nanda Bahadur Pun, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda and Deputy Prime Ministers Bimalendra Nidhi and Krishna Bahadur Mahara also reached the TIA to see off the Indian President. It was Mukherjee’s first visit to Nepal in the capacity of Indian President. He was elected the 13th president of India in 2012. As a minister, he had visited Nepal in November 2011. Prior to his departure, President Mukherjee visited Janakpur and Pokhara. In Janakpur he was offered a civic reception by the Janakpur Sub-Metropolitan City. He also performed a special worship at the famous Janaki Temple. Mukherjee is the third Indian President after Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and Gyani Zail Singh to visit the centre of Mithila civilisation and offer worship to the Janaki temple. Likewise in Pokhara, the Indian President addressed a meeting of the ex-Gurkhas. In both the cities, President Mukherjee received a warm welcome from the locals. Earlier, on Thursday, he was presented civic reception by the Kathmandu Metropolitan City in Kathmandu.
The Indian President’s Nepal visit held in an interval of 18 years was termed successful both by the government of Nepal and the Indian Embassy in Kathmandu. While the government of Nepal said that the visit had been successful and would be reciprocated by President Bhandari’s visit to India soon, the Indian Embassy said the visit was ‘highly successful’. The Indian President’s Nepal visit that took place almost 14 months after the promulgation of new constitution in Nepal and 10 months after the lifting of Indian blockade imposed against Nepal has been very important in bringing the Nepal-India relations back on track by ending all the suspicions prevalent among the Nepalese people. President Mukherjee not only congratulated Nepal for the promulgation of the new constitution during his Nepal visit but also expressed his desire to increase cooperation in the areas of common interest of both the countries. In all his addresses, President Mukherjee reiterated that India always attached high priority to its relations with Nepal. He also stressed the need for further cementing the relations of the two countries which are close not only physically but also socially and culturally. He also pledged the Indian cooperation in different areas, including peace and development. He expressed India’s willingness to reconstruct the Ghats at the Pashupatinath Temple and develop Ayodhya and Janakpur as sister cities, and a circuit covering the important cultural and religious sites of Nepal and India. The Nepalese leaders also appreciated the Indian President and his Nepal visit. Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal described President Mukherjee as a top leader of Asia and praised his role for India’s development. All the top leaders, including former President Dr Ram Baran Yadav and former prime ministers called on Mukherjee. Of course, the Indian President’s Nepal visit has added new dimensions to the Nepal-India relations at all levels with a clear message that regular exchanges of high level visits will be important in strengthening the ties between the two neighbouring countries.