Pashupatinath row not to hurt India-Nepal ties: Indian envoy

January 7th, 2009 - 5:15 pm ICT by IANS  

Kathmandu, Jan 7 (IANS) Though the growing dispute over the ouster of Indian priests at Nepal’s revered Pashupatinath temple has saddened some Indians, it would however not hurt India-Nepal ties, India’s top envoy in Nepal has said.Rakesh Sood, India’s ambassador to Nepal, said that Nepal Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda has pledged that his government would obey the orders of the Supreme Court in this regard.

By following the orders of the apex court the government would be heeding the desire of Nepali people, Sood said, according to Kantipur FM, Nepal’s biggest private radio station.

The Indian envoy reportedly made the remarks Wednesday while laying the foundation of a new school building and a rural electrification project in Sindhupalchowk district in north Nepal.

The two projects will be implemented with Indian grant assistance worth nearly Nepali Rs.54 million.

The Indian ambassador’s remarks came after the Maoist Minister for Information and Culture Krishna Bahadur Mahara Tuesday alleged that for years, the money accumulated from the offerings devotees made at the Pashupatinath shrine had been grabbed by Nepal’s deposed royal family and New Delhi.

Without directly naming India, the Maoist minister, who is also the spokesman of the Nepal government, said that Indian leaders were trying to interfere in Nepal’s internal matters and had the support of some Nepali parties, who were putting nationalism in jeopardy by dancing to foreigners’ tunes.

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