The recently concluded fifth India-Nepal Joint Commission (JC) held in Kathmandu was a grand success. Both sides met and took a firm stance to take the bilateral relationship forward. Little is known about the person who would visit Nepal within three months of his swearing-in as the External Affairs Minister of India, Dr. Subhramanyam Jaishankar. A life dedicated to Foreign Service and diplomacy, he has come out as an extremely powerful figure in contemporary Indian politics specializing in foreign policy.
Dr. Jaishankar started his career as a diplomat and he has visited and served in over a dozen countries. An excellent orator Mr. Jaishankar has multi-linguistic skills fluent in seven languages. Diplomacy is his forte, he is tacit and has the ability to see through situations that have made him an integral part of India’s foreign policy affair representative. He has played a crucial role throughout India’s contemporary foreign administrative policies making his mark in all his given assignments.
The much recent spate of India abrogating article 370 and 35A that provided special provisions to the people of Kashmir was a bone of contention. It was a scenario not thought of by the normal mind that such steps would be taken aggressively. It was Dr. Jaishankar in charge of foreign affairs that India was largely successful in bringing about support for its internal administrative cause.
Similarly, Mr. Jaishankar won an enormous victory through continued diplomacy in enabling and ensuring justice to Kulbhusan Jadhav who was given the death penalty without due process of law by Pakistan Military Court earlier this year. In a resounding morale boost for India’s diplomacy, the International Court of Justice made a landmark decision to review Jadhav’s death sentence.
JC Meeting and its success.
The JC meeting was hailed as a success by both Nations, and it ended in a positive note providing new dawn of friendship and proximal relations between Nepal and India. This was one of the first few occasions where India was genuinely in concern for the development of Nepal without any strings attached. They also were flexible in dealing with their closest neighbor and were committed to actually wanting Nepal’s peace and progress. Several infrastructural projects were planned, and those that are near completion would soon be in the process of operation. India provided billions of rupees as reimbursement for the reconstruction of Nuwakot and Gorkha districts the main affected during the major Gorkha earthquake of 2015. Similarly, India has taken a keen interest in developing the hydropower potential of Nepal, along with roads and bridges in various parts of the country. India has also stated that it will help Nepal in the Tourism sector and will work closely in Nepal’s theme Visit Nepal 2020. These signs are extremely positive have done a great deal to repair the relationships and change the mindset of the Nepalese people that scrutinized India through a different lens.
It has been advantageous for Nepal. More areas of cooperation are sorting in education and technology. India –Nepal is now focusing on unity, partnership, brotherhood and development that will reach the grassroots. Both sides are serious regarding the recent spate of discussion caused by the incessant monsoons that inundated large parts of the Terai belonging to both the Nations. Throughout the meeting held by EAM Dr. Jaishankar, he was found to be principled, organized and very specific. The entire focus was to take India –Nepal relations to a greater height and that objective was fairly achieved while more discussions will take place in the future.
The Nepal- India Joint Commission has a long and unfolding history. During the 4th meeting held in New Delhi back in 2016, Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat and Mr. M.J.Akbar had presided over the affairs and a wide range of programs and policies were discussed that would embolden the relations between two nations. The areas included politics, security, economic cooperation, infrastructure, trade, transit, water resources, and power. These are core areas where both nations have taken a keen interest. The fifth meeting was bigger with bountiful exchanges and commitment for future cooperation.
Embracing, not looking back.
Irrespective of the ups and downs, we have a history of individual relations. We have treated each other as citizens of each side, and very rarely in the world do we see two nations crossing over to seek opportunities without much hassle. India is growing at a pace that will be enormously beneficial to Nepal in the years ahead. We have to remain positive and think about what is right for the future course for our coming generation. This time around it was India that came with a similar mindset as seen and represented by EAM Dr. Jaishankar. Nepal now must capitalize this opportunity for the development of her people without delay. It has received an opportunity that would have much-needed growth which would secure the future of the coming generations ahead. Embracing our oldest and closest neighbor is the need for the moment. It is certain that our bilateral relations now have tightened and there is a grip in place that would guide both the nations together.