Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba. (Republica file photo)
KATHMANDU, Nov 8: As his participation in a function in Goa, India, which was reportedly attended by a Tibetan leader also, causes controversy, Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba said he is well aware of the sensitivities of northern neighbor China and that he and his party were committed to the One-China policy. He answered a few questions by email.
China has shown strong objection to reports of your meeting with the head of the Tibetan government in exile. What actually happened at the Goa function?
I was chief guest at the inaugural session of a seminar organized by India Foundation in Goa. Bharatiya Janata Party President Amit Shah, Indian Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu and Swami Tejomayananda also shared the stage with me during the session. But I do not know who spoke after the inaugural session. Since I am someone who has been prime minister thrice, I well understand China’s security sensitivities. Tibet is an integral part of China. We are committed to the One China policy. This is mine as well as my party’s official position. No Tibetan shared the stage with me at the inaugural session. Just because the Dalai Lama lives in India does not mean that we cannot come to India.
During your India visit, you also held a meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has been pressing for amending the new constitution. What did he have to say on the amendment issue?
We discussed issues of bilateral interest. I discussed post-earthquake reconstruction progress and political issues. I said we are making necessary efforts for the amendment of the new constitution. I said that we ourselves will resolve the ongoing political problems in Nepal, addressing the voice of the disgruntled, through amendment. His wish was that Nepal should gain political stability and move in the direction of economic prosperity.
What is your party’s stance on the controversies over naturalized citizenship?
My understanding is that the new constitution should be implemented by accommodating all sections of society. The prime minister himself has refuted recent reports about the issue of naturalized citizenship. You should be clear that allowing top state posts to naturalized citizenship holders in 10 years after acquiring the citizenship is never acceptable to the Nepali Congress. Discussions are ongoing over the option of [retaining] a provision of the interim constitution to resolve the issue. Results will come out in a few days.