By Anil Giri
Kathmandu, May 1:
Appreciating the help extended by Indian rescuers following the devastating earthquake that rocked Nepal on April 25, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala said on Friday that the country is blessed to have neighbours like India.
“We are really blessed as we have neighbours like India,” said a statement issued by Koirala’s private secretariat here which further said that “when Nepal faces crisis, we always seek honest help from India”.
Koirala also said that he felt really impressed by the working of the Indian teams when he inspected the ongoing rescue efforts in the last three days.
Meanwhile, visiting Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval on Friday told Koirala during a meeting that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi recalled the 2001 Gujarat earthquake immediately after learning about the 7.9-magnitude quake jolting Nepal last week.
When Modi came to know that the epicentre of the quake was in Nepal, he recalled the horrific picture of the Gujarat quake, and assessed the gravity of the casualties, Doval told Koirala.
Over 20,000 people were killed in the Gujarat quake. “Then he (Modi) immediately took steps for rescue and relief bid and sent rescue and relief materials to Nepal,” he told Koirala.
The statement came as Doval and Indian Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar arrived in Kathmandu on a day-long visit to assess the post-quake situation.
In response, Koirala said that Modi’s response came as a huge relief for him during such a crisis, a statement issued by Koirala’s private secretariat said.
Doval informed Koirala that India was ready to assist Nepal at this moment of crisis while extending a condolence message sent by Modi to Koirala on the behalf of Indians and the Government of India and himself for the deaths in the devastating quake.
Appreciating the Indian assistance and aid, Koirala also said that the Indian expertise, skill and experience in dealing with the quake would greatly help Nepal.