Pakistani PM in Kathmandu

Nepal welcomes Pak bilateral visit after 24 years

Published On: March 5, 2018 03:58 PM NPT

KATHMANDU, Mar 5: Prime Minister of Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has arrived in Kathmandu on a two-day official visit on Monday. 

The PM will congratulate his Nepali counterpart on his election as the 38th prime minister of Nepal.

Minister of Finance, Yubaraj Khatiwada welcomed the Prime Minister at Tribhuvan International Airport. The visiting PM will receive Guard of Honor at 5:30 PM at Nepal Army Pavillion, Tudikhel. Following the ceremony, Abbasi will attend dinner that will be hosted by PM KP Sharma Oli at Hotel Yak and Yeti.

Tomorrow, the Pakistani PM will pay a courtesy call on President Bidya Devi Bhandari before returning to Pakistan.  

“Prime Minister will convey felicitations to the Nepalese leadership on the successful conclusion of its democratic process, resulting in the formation of a new government,” a press release issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Pakistan states adding that the “visit will provide an opportunity to further expand and strengthen bilateral relations across all areas of mutual interest including trade, education, tourism, defence and people to people contacts. Ways of invigorating SAARC as an important regional organization will also be discussed.”  

Except for their visits in the course of attending SAARC Summits, a visit by a Pakistani prime minister to Nepal on a bilateral basis comes after a gap of 24 years. The last Pakistani prime minister to visit Nepal on a bilateral basis was Benazir Bhutto in 1994.

Nepal and Pakistan established diplomatic relations in 1960 during the premiership of Nepali Congress (NC) President B P Koirala. Although  King Mahendra further strengthened those relations after he introduced the party-less Panchayati system in 1961, many historians and scholars maintain that Koirala's moves to deepen Nepal's relations with Pakistan and China -- two countries that India considered arch enemies -  cost him his government, as then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru allegedly incited Mahendra to oust him. 

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