If Prime Minister Oli visits India on the dates (6-8 April) proposed by New Delhi, he will miss the Boao Forum for Asia 2018.
The prime minister has not yet received a formal invitation for the Boao Forum.
Stepping back, do you think the Blockade fundamentally changed Nepal’s foreign policy?
The Blockade made us realise that we have not diversified our trade, we have not built infrastructure to store essential supplies and we have never exercised the rights of a landlocked country for access to the sea. The blockade instilled confidence in us that we can overcome any challenge. It also dismissed the narrative that Nepal must tolerate a degree of foreign interference because it is small and poor. Post-blockade Nepal is no longer afraid of any foreign country. It has more confidence and self-respect.
Nepal reached out to China during the Blockade, but it did not follow up on the effort.
The previous two governments either reversed or did not make any progress on the agreements signed between Nepal and China during Prime Minister Oli’s first tenure in 2016. We are back in power now, and we will implement all the past agreements including the trade and transit treaty with China. We will soon finalise projects under China’s Belt and Road initiative.
What message do you have for foreign diplomatic missions in Nepal?
They have to mend their ways. We have to address three issues: First, we unnecessarily involved foreigners in our domestic affairs in the past, second, we accepted too much foreign aid in unproductive areas like awareness raising, third, we ourselves must follow guidelines in meeting foreign diplomats.