Nepal and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan established diplomatic relations on 20 March 1960. Both countries celebrated the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations in 2019. Nepal established a residential Embassy in Islamabad in 1962 and Honorary Nepali Consulate General in Karachi in 1975. The bilateral relations between the two countries are based on goodwill, mutual cooperation and support. Both countries hold similar views on many issues of common interests at various international and regional forums.
Periodic exchanges of visits at various levels have strengthened bilateral relations. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited Nepal to attend the 18th SAARC Summit held in Kathmandu on 26-27 November 2014. Earlier, then Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. Mahendra Bahadur Pandey had visited Pakistan on 23-24 October 2014 to handover the invitation from the Prime Minister of Nepal to the Pakistani Prime Minister to attend the Summit. Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Shahid Khaqan Abbasi paid an official visit to Nepal on 5-6 March 2018.
A Foreign Secretary level Nepal-Pakistan Bilateral Political Consultation Mechanism was established to review the bilateral relations. The fourth meeting of the consultation mechanism was held on 25 February 2020 in Islamabad. The meeting reviewed the status of bilateral co-operation and agreed to further enhance the relationship between the two countries in the areas of trade, tourism, education, sports, culture and people-to- people relations.
Nepal-Pakistan Joint Economic Commission (JEC) was set up at the level of Finance Ministers in 1983 to promote economic cooperation between the two countries. JEC, in its various meetings, has agreed to exert efforts to realize the potentials in the areas of trade, investment, and industrial joint ventures. The 6th Meeting of JEC was held in Islamabad on 19-20 August 2013. The meeting deliberated on trade and commerce, banking and finance, agriculture and livestock, energy, health, education, culture, tourism, telecom, ICT, and civil aviation.
Investment from Pakistan has been made in joint ventures in textile, hotels and banking industries in Nepal. In order to boost the bilateral trade, the two governments signed a trade agreement in July 1982. A Joint Business Council (JBC) was established in November 1996 between the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) and the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI). Similarly, Confederation of Nepalese Industries (CNI) signed MOUs with Karachi, Islamabad and Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry in February 2005.
Nepal’s export to Pakistan includes primarily raw hides and leather, gum, turpentine oils, contact lenses, textile items, medical and surgical instruments. Nepal’s import from Pakistan consists of edible fruits and nuts, dates, ginger, saffron, turmeric, thyme, bay leaves, curry and other spices, electro-medical instruments and appliances etc. Bilateral trade statistics of the last five years are given below:
Value in -000 NRS.
|Year||Imports from Pakistan||Exports from Nepal||Trade Balance|
Source: –Trade & Export Promotion Centre, GON, 2019
Nepal and Pakistan signed an Agreement on Tourism Cooperation in February 2009. The agreement provides for mutual cooperation in tourism and archaeology; exchanges of the visits of officials of tourism organizations and travel and tour operators; cooperation to encourage tourists from the third countries to visit their respective countries; mutual exchange of tourism information, materials and experience; production of tourism-related films and video-tapes; and joint collaboration for investment. The number of tourists’ arrival from Pakistan to Nepal in the last five years are given below:
|Year||No. of Tourists|
Source: Department of Immigration, GON, 2019
The Government of Pakistan has been providing 25 seats under Pakistan Technical Assistance Programme (PTAP) to Nepali students for higher education in the Medical, Engineering, and Pharmaceutical fields. Pakistan also offers long and short term trainings to the government officials of Nepal. currently around 225 Nepali nationals, mostly students are living in different cities of Pakistan, including 80 Nepali doctors pursuing MS/MD/MDS in Pakistan.
Nepal and Pakistan signed a Cultural Agreement in May 1970 which aims at promoting cultural relations, establishing inter-universities relations, and cooperation between Radio and Television. Nepal-Pakistan Friendship and Cultural Association is in operation in Kathmandu. A Nepal Friendship Group also exists in Islamabad.