Nilambar Acharya has told the special committee for parliamentary hearing that he will tell the Indian leadership that Nepal’s relationship with China doesn’t mean cutting relation with India.
“Ambassador must be able to convince that the country’s relationship with other countries is not against any country,” Acharya stated during the hearing on Sunday. “Our relationship with China will not cut that with India.”
He pointed that Nepal and India share open borders but not an open heart. “We don’t have any reason for animosity and basis for competition,” he said. “We are close but how open are we? We should look at that. Our relation with India must be good for economic development and prosperity of Nepal. We must be able to end suspicions,” he opined.
He stated that the Foreign Ministry and the overall politics will determine his priority as ambassador to India. “We have border problems and problems in implementation of projects developed with Indian assistance. There are issues like BIMSTEC and SAARC,” Acharya pointed. “We should be able to put our position openly in a dignified manner. We should convert suspicions into trust.”
He argued that his experience will come handy when Nepali Congress (NC) lawmaker Bhimsen Das Pradhan suggested that he should not accept the appointment when he is already 75-year-old. “I may not be able to walk like a young man but there must be some advantages of my age,” he stated. “I have been ready to take this responsibility thinking that a politically mature person is needed to handle the challenging and a little difficult Nepal-India relation. I am not here looking for a job.”
He replied that he did not form the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) when NC lawmaker Jitendra Dev asked why no Madhesi was included in EPG. “We have also talked in Madhes. The report was not prepared in a closed room,” Acharya, who was an EPG member, stated. “It is a common report of eight persons from Nepal and India.”
The special committee for parliamentary hearing had invited complaints against Acharya before the hearing but received none.
Acharya was law minister in the interim government formed after restoration of democracy in 1990 and later served as ambassador to Sri Lanka.
President Bidhya Devi Bhandari will appoint him as Nepal’s ambassador to India after the special committee endorses his name.
The government had recommended Acharya for India, Udaya Raj Pandey for Malaysia, Krishna Prasad Dhakal for UAE and Anjan Shakya for Israel on November 11. The special committee is also conducting hearing of other nominees on Sunday.