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Ignored for three years, EPG report is losing its relevance

नेपालब्रिटेन डट कम्
२१ श्रावण २०७८, बिहीबार ०४:१६

In the first week of July 2018, the eight-member Eminent Persons’ Group on Nepal-India relations finalised a joint report with various recommendations aimed at redefining the bilateral ties between the two countries. The group consisted of four members each from Nepal and India.

The group, now defunct, has not been able to present its report to the prime ministers of both countries. The group was mandated to review various aspects of bilateral relations, including the 1950 Treaty of Friendship between Nepal and India.

During its more than two years of existence, Nepal has seen four prime ministers—KP Sharma Oli twice—while India has been led by Narendra Modi. The group’s inability to present the report was largely attributed to Modi’s “busy” schedule, rather than Nepal’s unwillingness.

After more than three years, questions have arisen about the relevance of the report.

“We could not understand why India was reluctant to receive the report. I do not see any reason for not receiving it as it was prepared jointly by members of both the countries,” said Rajan Bhattarai, who was a member of the group.

The group was headed by Bhekh Bahadur Thapa from the Nepali side with Nilamber Acharya, currently the ambassador to India, Bhattarai, and Surya Nath Upadhyay, former chief commissioner of the Commission for Investigation of Abuse of Authority.

From the Indian side, Bhagat Singh Koshyari headed the group, with Jayant Prasad, former Indian ambassador to Nepal, Mahendra P Lama, a university professor, and BC Upreti, a scholar, as members. Upreti died in December 2018. Koshiyari has been the governor of the Maharashtra state of India since November 2019.