Without good ties with India, Nepal cannot prosper: Prachanda

New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) Nepal’s former prime minister and head of the country’s largest party, the Unified Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist), Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ said Monday that his party had agreed that his country cannot prosper “without good relations with India”.

The decision taken at the party convention last month was an “important turning point of the party’s ideological point” and has “created a new basis and new relations with India”, said Prachanda, visiting India after four years.

The “Indian issue figured for the first time” at the party convention, he said.

The party “clearly criticized the narrow nationalism and feudal nationalism” of earlier thinking and “indicated progressive nationalism and through this we can create atmosphere where we can develop good relations…”

“Without good relations and understanding with India, we cannot prosper,” said Prachanda, adding that the three points were “very important and created new dynamics for the party”.

He said during his visit to China earlier in the month, the Chinese leadership had told him they “support” his decision “to have good relations with India”.

He also stressed on pushing forward economic development of his country which he said was in in the larger interests of both India and China.

The Maoist leader, who is on a four-day visit to India, floated his “vision” of a trilateral cooperation between India, China and Nepal, which he said “was not a distant dream”.

“Nepal cannot and should not remain poor and backward,” said Prachanda, giving a talk on “India-Nepal Relations: Vision for the Next Decade” at the Indian Council of World Affairs here. He added that “economic development of Nepal is in the larger interests of India and China” which will herald political stability and contribute to regional peace and security.

“Nepal-India relations are based on peaceful coexistence and understanding the aspirations and interests of each other,” said Prachanda, who last visited India in 2008 as nepal’s prime minister.

He also said Nepal “is very much aware of India’s security concerns and it adopts a firm policy of not allowing any activity against its friendly neighbour from its soil”.

Prachanda stressed that the tripartite partnership would in “no way undermine or replace our bilateral relations that have been there for centuries”.

Prachanda is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid Tuesday before heading back to Kathmandu.

Asked if he would broach the topic of trilateral partnership with the Indian prime minister, Prachanda told IANS that “it is a vision which is still in the making” and he would stress on taking forward bilateral relations during his talks with Indian leaders.

Prior to his India visit, Prachanda visited China April 14-20 where he had stressed on the need for increased economic cooperation between China and Nepal and also floated the proposal of strategic tripartite partnership.

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