BY SHRI K.R. NARAYANAN, PRESIDENT OF INDIA, AT THE LUNCHEON HOSTED BY MR G.P KOIRALA,
PRIME MINISTER OF NEPAL
FRIDAY, MAY 29,
H.E. Mr. G.P.Koirala,
Prime Minister of Nepal,
Ms. Sujata Koirala,
On behalf of my wife
and my delegation and myself I would like to express my profound thanks
for the generous hospitality extended to us.
I have come here
with a strong delegation. I have with me the Commerce Minister Shri Ramakrishna
Hegde, a senior Minister and an experienced politician. There are also
four Members of Parliament, Prof(Ms) Rita Verma, Dr. Biplab Dasgupta,
Shri G. Swaminathan and Shri V.M. Sudheeran belonging to different parties.
All of us have been impressed and delighted by the welcome you have given
us and what we have seen of the development of Nepal. In this distinguished
gathering I see three former Prime Ministers of Nepal. This is very much
like in India. This is a vivid expression of our vibrant democracies.
Governments will come and go but all of them work for the common good
of the country. I congratulate you for achieving a full fledged democracy.
Nepal has transformed
greatly from what I saw years ago. Kathmandu is a throbbing, pulsating
city with commercial, social and cultural activities. You mentioned India's
role in various aspects of the economic life of Nepal. India considers
the progress of Nepal as vital to India.
And of course India
derives the greatest satisfaction from our cultural and social links.
At Pasupathinath temple which I visited, it was amazing to see the intricate
intertwining of our cultures. I wonder how in the ages past, our people
travelled such distances over difficult terrains and left their imprints
These links need
to be projected into our political relations. Whatever differences exist
are minor hurdles which we can overcome and move forward for the common
prosperity of our peoples.
India has always
been a land of peace, from the times of the Buddha, of Gandhi, to the
present times. We have the example of Ashoka who after a war, renounced
all violence. Whatever technological achievements we have made, I am sure
will be used for peaceful purposes. If great countries and great civilizations
like yours (you had succeeded to remain independent) and ours could not
resist colonialism, it is because of the technological superiority of
the colonisers. Our efforts at nuclear disarmament are well known. However,
we failed to achieve results. Those who have nuclear weapons, hold on
to them. The majority have to stand up to them so that they cannot blackmail
us as they did in the past. Let me assure you that we use our technology
for economic benefits and for safeguarding us from any blackmail by the
so called superior powers. We will be able to solve our problems with
our neighbours. In Europe those who fought in the past, who still have
nuclear weapons, live in friendship. India's efforts will also be for
a similar evolution.
We are sensitive
to your needs. There is an immense area in which we can cooperate. Nepal
is rich in resources. We are also rich, but our needs are immense. We
can work together without in any way impinging on each other.
I am here in a critical
time. I know how deep is our friendship on the basis of culture, network
of human relationships and excellent relationships between the leaders.
We can work for the good of our two countries.
May I invite you
to please raise your glasses in a toast to the health and happiness of
His Majesty the King of Nepal and the friendly cooperation between India