In less than two weeks after India’s Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra made remarks that he is not aware of the contents of the report submitted by Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) of Nepal and India as the government of India is yet to receive the EPG report, former Nepalese Ambassador to India Dr. Bhesh Bahadur Thapa, who is also the Nepalese side convener of the EPG, has warned that the report will be made public unilaterally, if both the Prime Ministers of India and Nepal were not ready to receive it.
The EPG was formed in 2016 by the two governments to study and review past agreements and understandings reached between Nepal and India. The EPG completed its task of drafting the report in July 2018 within the mandated time frame. After the report was prepared, it was decided to first submit it to Indian Prime Minister and then to the Nepalese Prime Minister. However, as the Indian side could not arrange time to submit the report to Prime Minister Modi the EPG report is currently lying in the hands of the conveners of the EPG.
“A high level official from India speaking at a press conference told journalists that since the EPG report was prepared by independent group consisting of experts from both the countries, I have no information regarding the matter,” Thapa said without naming the Foreign Secretary. Such remarks made by a responsible high ranking official of India, has put question mark on the future of the report, pointed out Thapa, one of the conveners of the report.
“As Indian side has been showing negligence to receive the report and both the governments are observing silence about it, the task of formally handing over the report to both the government seems to be a very challenging,” Thapa pointed out issuing a statement on May 23. “It is a sad thing not being able to make public the report prepared by experts from both the countries with hard works with a view to taking the mutual interest to a new height,” Thapa said.
“As it will not be appropriate to confine the report in the hands of the EPG for indefinite period, we the members of the Nepalese team of EPG have through an informal discussion decided to make the report public if it could not be handed over to both the Prime Ministers,” clarified Thapa in his statement.