R&AW chief’s meet with Nepal PM sparks row

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PTI

Kathmandu

Nepal Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has come under fire, including from the ruling Communist Party leaders, for breaching diplomatic norms over his meeting with Research and Analysis Wing (R&AW) chief Samant Kumar Goel.

Goel called on Prime Minister Oli at his official residence at Baluwatar on Wednesday evening. However, the Indian intelligence chief’s visit did not go down well with some political leaders of the country, including members of the ruling party Nepal Communist Party (NCP).

The meeting that took place between RAW chief Goel and Prime Minister Oli was against diplomatic norms and it doesn’t serve Nepal’s national interest, said senior ruling party leader Bhim Rawal.

“As the meeting took place in a non-transparent manner without consulting with the concerned section of the Foreign Ministry, this may also contribute to weakening our state mechanism,” he pointed out.

Bishnu Rijal, deputy chief of the foreign affairs department of the NCP, said politicians should not overstep in matters related to diplomacy.

“Diplomacy should be handled by diplomats—not politicians,” he said.

“The present confusion over the visit of the R&AW chief is the result of the handling of diplomacy by politicians,” he said.

Nepali Congress central leader Gagan Thapa in a tweet said the meeting posed a threat to national security.

“The meeting was not only the breach of our diplomatic norms but it also poses threat to our national security, which needs to be investigated into,” Thapa tweeted.

Nepal’s three former prime ministers, Prachanda Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda’, Madhav Kumar Nepal from the ruling NCP and Sher Bahadur Deuba from Nepali Congress, refuted media reports that they also held meetings with the visiting R&AW chief.