External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar highlighted Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s idea of ‘HIT’ to foster bilateral ties between India and Nepal on January 5, 2024 and reaffirmed his commitment to redefine the relationship with Nepal.
MEA Chief Address
“Under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, the Government of India is committed to continue redefining its relationship with partners in our neighborhood, especially with Nepal. I remember that during his visit to Nepal in 2014, Prime Minister Modi had given the hit formula for India- Nepal relations. Hit as in H for highways, I for Iways and T for Transways,” he said.
Speaking at the joint inauguration of Tribhuvan University Central Library and other post-earthquake reconstruction projects in Kathmandu, Jaishankar added, “During the visit of Prime Minister Prachanda to India in June, both leaders took the important decision to make our partnership a super hit now. The government of India is committed to move forward on the ideals of Sabka Sath, Sabka vikas, Sabka Vishwas, Sabka prayas, and take the friendly neighboring countries, including Nepal, along with us in our development journey. Together we will continue to cross more and more milestones in our relationship in the days to come.”
EAM also underscored the significant agreements signed during his ongoing visit to Nepal and said that the partnership has expanded multifold, which has strengthened the people-to-people connection between the two countries.
He said, “With significant strides made in a variety of areas, this partnership has expanded multifold and connectivity, be it physical, digital or energy related, has become a cornerstone of this expanding collaboration, and this has further strengthened the people-to-people linkages between our two countries. You during my visit this time, we have signed some really important agreements both in the areas of power sector cooperation as well as project implementation, and I am very confident that these will positively impact the lives of the ordinary person in Nepal.”
India’s Efforts in Nepal Earthquake Relief
Highlighting India’s efforts in Nepal after the devastating earthquake of 2005, Jaishankar said, “I stand before you today with a sense of satisfaction, even pride as we gather here to celebrate the inauguration of this newly constructed Central Library of the prestigious Tribhuvan University as well as 25 schools, 32 health projects and a Cultural Heritage Sector project which were undertaken as part of a collaborative effort to support the people of Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake of 2015.”
He said the Nepali government, after the initial rescue efforts prioritized housing, education, health and cultural heritage as part of its reconstruction drive. He stated that India is pleased to be part of Nepal’s reconstruction efforts. He noted that the Indian government has funded the project for the construction of 50,000 houses that were completed in November 2021.
“We have been pleased to be part of these efforts as we contributed USD one billion in this regard consisting of USD 250 million in grant and the remaining as a line of credit. We are very satisfied that the Government of India has funded a project for the construction of 50,000 houses that were completed in November 2021. I’m happy to know that today’s handing over of 25 schools and the inauguration of this very prestigious library, all the 71 projects being undertaken with reconstruction grant in the education sector have been completed and handed over to the Government of Nepal,” Jaishankar said.
Visit to Pashupatinath Temple
Earlier today, Jaishankar offered prayers at Pashupatinath Temple in Nepal. He stated that he prayed for the well-being of people of Nepal and India and the ties between the two nations.
Taking to X, Jaishankar stated, “Blessed to visit the Pashupatinath Temple today morning. Prayed for the well-being of our two peoples and India-Nepal ties.”
Multiple Bilateral Agreements
On January 4, 2024, EAM Jaishankar co-chaired with his Nepal counterpart NP Saud a “comprehensive and productive” meeting of the 7th India-Nepal Joint Commission, in which discussions focused on overall bilateral ties and covered a vast array of areas including land, rail and air connectivity projects, defence cooperation, security, energy, power and water resources.
During the visit, Nepal and India signed a long-term agreement on electricity trade, as part of which Nepal will export 10,000 megawatts of electricity to India over the next ten years. Agreements were signed on the implementation of High Impact Community Development Projects, long Term Power Trade, Cooperation in Renewable Energy Development, Munal Satellite and the Handover of 5th tranche of the post-Jajarkot earthquake relief supply. Three cross-border transmission lines were jointly inaugurated during Jaishankar’s visit.
“Co-chaired with my counterpart Foreign Minister NP. Saud a comprehensive and productive meeting of the 7th India-Nepal Joint Commission. Discussions focused on our overall bilateral ties, trade & economic relations, land, rail & air connectivity projects, cooperation in defense & security, agriculture, energy, power, water resources, disaster management, tourism, civil aviation, people-to-people & cultural exchanges and development partnership,” Jaishankar said in a post on X.
Meeting with Nepal’s Prime Minister
Jaishankar, who is on a two-day visit to Kathmandu, called on Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ on January 4, 2024. During the meeting, Jaishankar conveyed the greetings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Dahal.
In a post shared on X, Jaishankar stated, “Called on Rt. Hon’ble PM Prachanda. Conveyed the warm wishes of PM Narendra Modi. Recalled his successful visit to India in June 2023 which has imparted a new momentum to our ties. Discussed the follow-up, including through the Joint Commission Meeting today. friendship is indeed unique and our partnership is moving from strength to strength.”