Nepali Times Asian Paints

Back to Main Page

Keeping secrets

Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Two days after the government revoked its decision to print the machine readable passports in India, the Indian embassy has issued an statement expressing regret over the politicisation of the issue. The statement reads:

India agreed to supply the machine readable passport booklets through its Government Undertaking, Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India (SPMCIL), at a concessional price, as a gesture of goodwill and in keeping with the friendly relations between the two countries. In the spirit of mutual cooperation, the Government of India further agreed to provide, at its cost, technical assistance, which included supply of software and hardware equipment, installation of these equipments at the Central passport Office in Kathmandu and training of GON officials for personalization of Machine Readable Passports. Letters were exchanged by the Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal and the Ambassador of India, Kathmandu on March 23, 2010.

It is a matter of regret that the issue has been politicized in Nepal and confidential communication from the Embassy has been publicized.

The confidential letter written by Indian Ambassador Rakesh Sood to Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala defends India’s case for printing the machine readable passports in India. Nagarik published the letter on Monday. It says:

“India and Nepal share an open border regime under which Nepali citizens do not require a visa to travel to India and vice versa. In recent times, the open border has also been a source of certain security concerns which have been shared with the Nepali leaders at the highest level.”

The letter further said the proposal to print the passports in India would “address above mentioned security concerns, and also be financially advantageous to Nepal.”

The Foreign Ministry had sent the letter to the Public Accounts Committee, along with other documents regarding the printing contract.

“It’s against the diplomatic norms for an ambassador to write a letter asking the contract to be granted to India,” Public Accounts Committee Deepak Upadhyay told  Nagarik.

“All documents regarding financial transactions are made public by the committee,” Upadhyay said.

Ambassador Sood met Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Tuesday morning. None of the sides has publicly revealed the agenda of the meeting. The Kathmandu Post writes:

The one-on-one meeting, mostly defying the diplomatic protocol and without the customary presence of Foreign Ministry officials, was to express his displeasure, officials said.

Go back to previous page          Bookmark and Share         

15 Responses to “Keeping secrets”

  1. S Shrestha on Says:

    The whole episode reflects the India’s big boss attitude and Sood being just a representative. India though proclaiming itself as the biggest democratic country never bother to respect nebouriong country’s sovereignty. In MRP is just one example.

    On Sood’s letter to FM and /or direct talk to PM, it is clear he violated all the diplomatic protocol. However, I don’t blame to him only. The problem lies within ourselves. Why FM and PM, unfortunately the loosers with no moral and ethical ground to hold the office, allow Sood, who is just a joint secretary level in GOI? Don’t they know the protocal? or They don’t have the strength in their heart and bones to remind Sood about his position? If things goes like this I don’t surprise that the peon or chowkidar of the Indian embassy will also shout at PM and FM of Nepal and they will listen them obidiently. Dhikkar Makune! Manchhe sano bhaye anusar sochai ra kaam pani sanai.

Leave a Reply