It has been revealed that Indian government wanted machine readable passport printing contract from Nepal. A confidential letter (above, page 1 and below, page 2) written by the Indian ambassador in Kathmandu to the Nepali foreign minister was disclosed today which clearly indicates it was the Indian government that had sought to get the contract for printing nearly 4 million Nepali passports. It was not clear who leaked the letter to the Maoists- the Indian Embassy or the Nepali Foreign Ministry.
Written by India’s ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood to Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala, the letter, sent in December, pointed out that “India and Nepal share an open border regime under which Nepali citizens do not require a visa to travel to India and vice-a-versa. In recent times, the open border has also been a source of certain security concerns which have been shared with the Nepali leaders at the highest level.”
After detailing a proposal to print and supply the passports by its state-owned Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited, the envoy said in the letter, “This (India´s) offer will not only address some of the security concerns that have been mentioned but, I am certain, will prove to be economical for the government of Nepal.”
The foreign minister on Monday sought to downplay allegations that she had struck a “secret deal” with India, denying having received the letter.