KATHMANDU, April 13: CPN-UML Vice-chairman Bhim Rawal has questioned the government's absence at the Boao forum recently held in China.
Stating that Nepal should maintain balanced relations with both its immediate neighbors, India and China, Rawal has asked whether Nepal didn't get the invitation for the forum from China or it abstained from attending the forum despite getting an invitation.
The Boao forum was held from 8 to 11 April in Hainan Province of China. Prime Minister Oli returned to the country from a three-day state visit to India on April 8.
Speaking at an interaction in the capital on Thursday Rawal said, "Nepal should have participated in the Boao forum as it was big platform for us. I have a query for the government: whether we didn't get the invitation or we didn't take part despite getting an invitation?"
Former Home Minister Rawal lambasted Prime Minister K P Oli for failing to raise key national interest issues during his India visit. He accused the prime minister from his own party of failing to talk to India about removing the Indian 'field office' from Biratnagar, implementing the Mahakali Treaty, preventing construction of roads and high dams in the Indian side of the Nepal-India border among others.
Rawal said that the Prime Minister should have raised these issues without any hesitation.
Rawal also said that connecting the southern borders with Indian railway shouldn't be the priority of the country. "Our priority should be enhancing connectivity in the high hilly areas which are deprived of connectivity. The southern border is already connected to India in many ways," said Rawal. He was of the view that having railway connectivity to the Chinese borders should be the country's priority.
Stating that linking waterway with India only to pave the way for Indian ships to Nepal will be unacceptable to the country, Rawal said that such agreements should be based on mutual interest and benefit. He also said that building a high dam in the Koshi River will not be in the interest of Nepal.