India ready to be 'sherpa' to help Nepal scale mountain of success: PM Modi
Hailing Nepal's successful journey from bullets to ballots, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today that India is ready to be the "sherpa" (mountain guide) to help Nepal scale the mountain of success
PM Modi, who was addressing a civic reception programme in his honour in Kathmandu, stressed on the special relationship shared by the two neighbours and admired Nepal's spirit of resilience and commitment towards democracy.
"Nepal has covered a long journey from Yuddh to Buddh (War to Peace). You have left the bullet to opt the ballot way. But this not the destination. You have to go a long way," PM Modi told the gathering.
"You have reached the base camp of the Mt Everest and the main climb is yet to be done. And the way mountaineers are strongly helped by Sherpas to scale the summit, much the same way India is ready to work as the Sherpa for Nepal," he said, amid applause.
Modi said Nepal would help India in its development journey.
"India will stand shoulder-to-shoulder to help Nepal in its development journey. In your success lies our success, in your happiness lies India's happiness."
The Indian prime minister said "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas (inclusive development for all)" was as much about global well being as it was about India's growth.
"India has always worked for global good. India has taken the lead in mitigating the menace of climate change. The International Solar Alliance has brought together nations from across the world," PM Modi said.
PM Modi congratulated Nepalese people for their combined strengths to rebuild the country after the devastating earthquake of 2015. He also congratulated them for the Constitution that reshaped the country's political history by embracing federal system.
He also lauded the atmosphere of optimism in Nepal.
"There is an atmosphere of hope and optimism in Nepal," Modi said, adding that India would always become partner to Nepal's progress.
The Indian Prime Minister described Kathmandu as a mixture of the ancient and the modern and said the city showcased the culture of Nepal.
"There is something unique about the beauty of Kathmandu. It's a special city. It has an important place in the history of the world," he said.
"Nepal is a country of diversity and Kathmandu is a world in its own," Modi said. "The diversity gives fresh air to any outsider."
He also said that the work has begun on the detailed project report for linking Kathmandu to India via rail network.
PM Modi also expressed his desire to travel to Lumbini, the birthplace of Lord Buddha in his future visit.
"During my previous visits I prayed at Pashupatinath. This time, in addition to Pashupatinath, I went to Janakpur and Muktinath. These places illustrate close ties between our nations," he said.
He repeated 'Nepal Bhaarat Maitri Amar Rahos (Long live Nepal-India Friendship)' thrice at the end of his speech.
The Indian prime minister highlighted the role of the Indian Premier League in strengthening people-to-people ties between India and Nepal.
He pitched for "more sports" engagement in future to "connect" the two countries.
"Today we are connected by cricket as a Nepali boy is a part of Indian Premier League (IPL)," Modi said, referring to Sandeep Lamichhane who became the first cricketer from Nepal to land an IPL contract when he was picked by Delhi Daredevils at the players auction in January.
"This connection with cricket will strengthen our people to people ties and I hope there are more sports through which we can connect," Modi said.
Earlier, Kathmandu Mayor Bidya Sundar Shakya presented symbolic key of the city to Modi, symbolising that the door to Kathmandu would always remain open for him.
The Indian prime minister was also presented with various memoir tokens including a 55-kg Lord Buddha statue.
(With inputs from PTI)