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PM Narendra Modi's advice on drafting Constitution not interference: Nepal

PTI 30 Nov 2014, 22:53:24 PM IST

Kathmandu: Nepal on Sunday rejected media reports that Prime Minister Narendra Modi's advice to Nepalese leaders to forge a consensus for drafting the Constitution amounted to interference in the country's affairs.

"It was a friendly advise of India, we should not take it as an interference," Nepalese Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey said.

"Drafting of a timely Constitution by forging consensus among all political parties, is what we are trying to achieve, and I do not consider it as an intervention in our matters," Pandey clarified, adding that "it was neither any formula or dictation by India".

Modi's advice to Nepal's warring political parties on the Constitution-making process was criticised by the media here which termed it as "breaching of diplomatic norms".

Critical comments appeared in some of Nepal's national newspapers regarding Modi's advice to political parties on the long-delayed drafting of the country's constitution.

During his bilateral engagements with Nepalese political leaders on his recent visit to Nepal to attend the SAARC Summit, Modi had urged them to forge consensus to draft the Constitution and asked them not to delay the process and meet the January 22 deadline.

There is a common concern among the international community that the achievements of the Peoples' Movement of 2006 should be consolidated and move forward the country towards economic progress and development by maintaining peace and political stability, Pandey said.

To another question, he said the cancellation of Modi's visit to religious site at Janakpur was not the outcome of internal differences among political parties in Nepal about the visit, but it was due to the busy schedule of the Indian prime minister who had a tight schedule, he said.

"Modi was wishing to visit the religious sites of Nepal including Janakpur and Lumbini and he will come back and visit the sites at the earliest possible time," Pandey said.

The Indian prime minister had been scheduled to visit Janakpur, birthplace of Sita, Lumbini, birthplace of Lord Buddha, and another sacred Hindu pilgrimage site, Muktinath, located in the southern mountainous region during his visit to Nepal.