Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba today vow not to allow the open between the two countries to be misused by the unscrupulous elements, including terrorists, who are finding their way to India taking a route to the Himalayan nation.
“The two sides expressed commitment to ensure that the open border, a unique feature of India-Nepal bilateral relations that has facilitated unhindered movement of people on both sides of the border, is not misused by unscrupulous elements posing security threat to either side,” a joint statement issued after the bilateral talks between the two prime ministers said.
The two sides reiterated their commitment that their respective territories would not be allowed to be used for any activities inimical to the other, it said.
The Nepalese leader, who is on his first visit abroad after taking over office, was accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan. He paid respects and tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi at Rajghat, before calling on President Ram Nath Kovind and Vice President M. Venkaiah Naidu.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Minister of Finance Arun Jaitley called on the Prime Minister of Nepal.
Mr Deuba interacted with Indian business community at a function jointly hosted by ASSOCHAM, CII, and FICCI.
During the bilateral talks, the two Prime Ministers underlined the importance of rail links in India-Nepal connectivity as these links will usher in growth and development by way of enhanced trade and tourism links.They agreed on early completion of the Field Location Survey of remaining three cross-border rail links, New Jalpaiguri to Kakarbhitta, Nautanwa to Bhairahawa, and Nepalgunj Road to Nepalgunj.
The connectivity between the two sides assumes significance as China was trying to build inroads in Nepal through an infrastructure diplomacy, which a time tested strategic trick adopted by Beijing with other neighbours of India