In a reflection of the continued suspicions between India and Pakistan, and difficult ties at the moment, the Pakistani government has told Nepal – the host of the upcoming SAARC summit on November 26 and 27th – that PM Nawaz Sharif will not use any vehicle provided by India. Instead, Islamabad will get its own car for its PM for the duration of the summit.
Delhi, on the request of Kathmandu, had sent six bullet-proof vehicles to Nepal on Saturday to be used by SAARC leaders. Nepal itself has two such vehicles, currently used by President Ram Baran Yadav and PM Sushil Koirala. Two other vehicles are in need for repair. During his meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, Koirala had sought logistical support from India for the summit.
Nepal’s foreign ministry spokesperson Khaganath Adhikari told the country’s leading daily, Kantipur, that Pakistan had told Nepal that it will make independent arrangements for Sharif’s movements. Officials in Kathmandu tried to underplay the issue, and suggested it was routine for foreign leaders to bring in their own vehicles.
The vehicles supplied by India are currently with the Nepal Army. The Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Bhutan’s Prime Minister Tshering Tobgay, Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani, Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, and Maldives President Abdulla Yameen will use Indian vehicles. For PM Modi, India will bring in separate vehicles to Kathmandu as well as to Janakpur and Lumbini, where he is scheduled to travel.