Friday, November 21, 2008


KATHMANDU: The father of India’s missile technology and former president APJ Abdul Kalam was given a reverential welcome in Nepal on Monday as he arrived on a two-day visit crammed with programmes. The scholar-scientist, whose books are well known in the Himalayan republic, visited a Buddhist monastery soon after his arrival in Kathmandu and followed it with an address on the dynamics of societal transformation.
Drawing upon personal anecdotes, tales from the life of Mahatma Gandhi and his conversations with the monks on Monday, Kalam held the audience spellbound as he uttered his mantra for peace in the world: harmony in the home, which would lead to order in the nation and subsequently, peace in the world.
Kalam said he had asked the monks the secret behind their ever-smiling demeanour. In answer, they told him one should be calm and have kindness and clarity of thought. Nepal, he said, had taught him the way to peace and happiness.
The much-awaited visit culminates in Kalam addressing the 14th convocation of Kathmandu University .
Close on the heels of the former president, Nepal would receive a visit from foreign minister Pranab Mukherjee.
The Indian embassy in Kathmandu said Mukherjee will pay an official visit from Nov 24-26 at the invitation of his Nepali counterpart Upendra Yadav.
“The visit is part of ongoing high-level bilateral interaction between the two countries,” the embassy said. “It will provide an opportunity to discuss the entire gamut of our extensive bilateral relationship with Nepal.”
This will be Mukherjee’s second visit to Nepal after the fall of the royal government of Gyanendra. His last visit was on the eve of the April election when he urged the then Girija Prasad Koirala government to hold the polls in time.

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