Bhattarai for better Indo-Nepal relations

Kathmandu: Prime Minister Baburam Bhattarai today spoke about "certain misunderstandings, misgivings and problems" in Nepal`s relations with India but said he will not be discussing these during his visit to New Delhi beginning tomorrow.

India-educated Bhattarai expressed confidence that his four-day maiden visit will pave the way for "warmer relations" between the Unified CPN-Maoist and the establishment in the neighbouring country.

Rejecting the view that there were "bitter relations" between India and his party at present, 57-year-old Bhattarai, the Maoist Vice President and ideologue, said "our relations are already warming up and will become warmer after the visit."

"The dispute within the Maoist party won`t be a problem in fostering relations with India," he told PTI in an interview. "There can be dispute and discussion within the party and we have managed it well."

On Indo-Nepal ties, the Prime Minister said "there are certain misunderstandings, misgivings and problems in our relations in the history. When you have closer relations there are chances of having frictions also, this is the law."

"There is a need to resolve certain issues left (over) by history. There is a need for free and frank discussion to resolve them. So, I don`t like to take on disputed issues this time," he said, without elaborating.

His comments came a day after the Maoist party headed by ex-premier Prachanda, who is perceived to have an anti-India bias, said that only economic issues will be discussed during Bhattarai`s visit, which will not touch potential "irritants" like an extradition pact and review of the 1950 Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty.