Indian media: 'Resetting' ties with Nepal

PM Narendra Modi Image copyright AFP
Image caption PM Narendra Modi arrives in Kathmandu to 'reset' relations with Nepal.

Media are hoping that PM Narendra Modi's visit to Nepal, the first by an Indian premier in 17 years, will help boost relations between the two countries and strengthen cooperation, especially in the energy sector.

Nepalese rivers contribute up to 70% of water to India's Ganges river during dry season, but the sharing of resources has been hampered by mistrust. Nepali politicians from both ruling and opposition parties have been suspicious of a recent Indian proposal for a hydropower development agreement, claiming its aim was to secure India's monopoly over Nepal's water assets. The allegation has been dismissed by Delhi.

According to the Deccan Chronicle, the aim of Mr Modi's visit is to "help speed up negotiations on the power trade pact that is at the centre of a new effort to improve ties with a neighbour that serves as a buffer with China".

The paper reports that in a speech on Sunday in the parliament in Kathmandu, the Indian PM reassured MPs that "we don't want free electricity, we want to buy it", and added that "just by selling electricity to India, Nepal can find a place in the developed countries of the world".

PM Modi "showers Nepal" with a credit line of $1bn (£594m) for infrastructure development, reports The Indian Express, pointing out that he also promised to help the neighbouring country in the field of agriculture.

"Modi wins hearts, proposes HIT formula for Nepal's development," writes the Hindustan Times, reporting that the Indian PM started his speech in Nepali and received a "rousing applause" from Nepali MPs. The Indian PM said he wanted to "HIT Nepal" with "H for highways, I for informationways, T for transmissionways". "After 17 years, Modi resets historic India-Nepal ties," announces the daily in a headline.

"Modi's focus on India's neighbours is welcome, but he must not ignore the West," the Times of India warns in an editorial. Recalling that the Indian PM's visit to Nepal follows his recent "maiden" trip to Bhutan, the paper argues that "Delhi must strive for a golden mean and maintain a balance between its relationship with the West and greater South-South cooperation".

"India needs technology and investments from the EU and US to kick-start its economy and tackle unemployment. Moreover, terrorism is an international scourge Delhi can't tackle alone," the daily explains.

Commonwealth Games

Newspapers are rejoicing at India's performance in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow after the country finished fifth with 64 medals, 15 of which are gold.

On the final day, badminton player Parupalli Kashyap won the gold in the men's singles.

"Kashyap brought the curtains down on India's campaign in the 20th Commonwealth Games to a thunderous applause, winning a historic gold in the men's singles badminton in Glasgow on Sunday," says the Hindustan Times.

The paper recalls that Kashyap is the first Indian male shuttler in 32 years to win gold at the Commonwealth Games.

Unfortunately, the celebrations were marred by the "shocking" news that two Indian sports officials were arrested in Glasgow, papers said.

"Glasgow shame," reads The Times of India headline. "Even as Indian sportspersons were shedding blood and sweat to bring laurels to the country, our officials were making the headlines for very different reasons."

The paper said it had spoken to Scotland police who confirmed that two Indians were arrested and that both cases were of "alleged assault".

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