Linking India and China by rail link through Nepal can help all the three countries in the region.
"We can exploit each other's market opportunities, if Nepal can be linked to both its neighbours by a rail link, said former finance minister Dr Prakash Chandra Lohani, while making a presentation on 'Nepal's evolving relations with India and China' at Observer Research Foundation -- a public policy think tank with headquarters in New Delhi -- on Wednesday.
He proposed a trans-Himalayan rail link connecting the two Asian giants through the Himalayan Republic. "Developing the new connectivity via rail link would immensely help all the three nations, especially India and China," he said, adding that the bilateral trade of the two economic giants is increasing rapidly. The notion of regional connectivity and Nepal as the link is a big challenge, he said.
Apart from connectivity, Nepal has vast untapped water resources. With India growing so fast, it requires lots of water for its needs, he said.
Raising issues with India on trade, water resources, and even aspects of security is not being anti-Indian. It is just trying to see things from Nepal's viewpoint and seek a common space that is acceptable to both, he contended. "Development of trust, based on dealings that are seen as being just and fair, is the need of the hour," he said.
Former Ambassadors to Nepal, experts and academics took part in the discussion, which was chaired by M Rasgotra, president of Observer Research Foundation Centre for International Relations and a former foreign secretary.