Nepal yet to appoint new envoy to India

January 21st, 2009 - 3:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan SinghKathmandu, Jan 21 (IANS) Almost two months after deciding to recall its ambassador to India, Nepal’s biggest trade partner, the Himalayan republic is yet to decide on a new appointee.In November, the new Maoist-led government that came to power in Nepal decided to recall the envoys to key countries on the ground that they had been appointed by the earlier Girija Prasad Koirala government.

Besides India, the ambassador to the US was also asked to come back to Nepal.

However, due to continued squabbles among the ruling parties in the coalition government, no successor has yet been shortlisted to replace Durgesh Man Singh.

Man Singh, an economist and former student of Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, is expected to return to Kathmandu by this week after his return was delayed due to a death in the family.

Nepal’s foreign ministry said it would send an official to hold the fort at the Nepal Embassy on New Delhi’s Barakhamba Road till a new ambassador is appointed.

The new acting chief of the Nepal Embassy, Khush Narayan Shrestha, is a senior undersecretary at the foreign affairs ministry, who is expected to leave for the Indian capital this week.

Though Nepal’s first Maoist Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has pledged that his government would function differently from his predecessors, ironically, the dispute over the appointment of envoys echoes the bickerings during the earlier Koirala government.

The appointment of the Indian ambassador remained in the doldrums even after all other envoys were chosen as then prime minister Girija Prasad Koirala sought to keep the coveted post for his niece Shailaja Acharya despite criticism from his own party members.

However, Koirala was finally forced to abandon his kin after she was diagnosed with debilitating diseases.

Subsequently, the post went to Man Singh, who belongs to the family of Ganesh Man Singh, one of Nepal’s most respected political leaders and the commander of the pro-democracy movement in 1990.

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