Home Kathmandu Govt may pick envoys for India, China today

Govt may pick envoys for India, China today

Kathmandu, September 1, 2016: The government is planning to send Deep Kumar Upadhyay again to New Delhi as the ambassador. Upadhyay, who was serving as Nepal’s ambassador to India since April 2015, was suddenly recalled by the erstwhile KP Sharma Oli-led government in May.

As per discussions among key political leaders, former chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal is most likely to be named the new ambassador for China.

A Cabinet decision on the appointment of ambassadors to India and China, two key diplomatic postings for Nepal, is expected on Thursday, according to a highly placed government source. Paudyal had earlier worked as the consul general in Lhasa.

If the decision is announced on Thursday, this will be first ambassadorial appointments by the Maoist Centre-Nepali Congress government, which immediately after its formation in early this month, had withdrawn the 14 ambassadorial nominations made by the Oli government.

According to sources, the CPN (Maoist Centre) wanted to pick a name for the ambassadorial position in China whereas the Nepali Congress (NC) wanted to recommend someone for India.

Our party has zeroed in on Paudyal, said Narayan Kaji Shrestha, chief of the foreign department cell of the Maoist Centre. The Oli-led government had recommended Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, a former foreign minister, as the ambassador for China.

The NC is believed to have opted to recommend Upadhyay because he was unceremoniously recalled by the erstwhile Oli-led government. The Oli-led government had decided to call back Upadhyay, charging him with “playing a role in toppling the government”. The Maoist Centre, however, is learnt to have expressed reservations about sending Upadhyay to New Delhi again.

The government, which earlier had sent two deputy prime ministers to China and India as special representatives, is keen to appoint envoys to Beijing and New Delhi at the earliest, particularly to the southern neighbour in view of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal’s scheduled visit.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Prakash Sharan Mahat said the government will appoint a new envoy to India before PM Dahal’s visit which starts on September 15.

By Anil Giri