India urges Nepal to address causes of unrest in Terai

Sushma Thapa

Underlining that New Delhi’s interest was only in a “peaceful, united and stable Nepal, India has urged Nepal to address the causes of political unrest in its Terai region credibly and effectively. “The causes underlying the present state of confrontation in Nepal need to be addressed credibly and effectively by the political parties and people of Nepal themselves,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said in the Rajya Sabha on December 3 while responding to a calling attention motion. The motion was sponsored by Janata Dal-United member Pawan Kumar Verma on the situation in the Himalayan nation and the state of bilateral relations. She also spoke about her meeting with Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa on December 2.

“India’s only interest is in a peaceful, united and stable Nepal and our approach is completely consistent with these objectives,” Ms Swaraj said. Clarifying that there was no blockade of supplies to Nepal by India, Ms Swaraj stated: “Obstructions are by the Nepalese population on the Nepalese side in which the government of India cannot interfere. There is no blockade by India of supplies going to Nepal.”

Responding to the house members, Ms Swaraj spoke about  incidents of violence resulting in death and injury in regions of Nepal bordering India following the promulgation of Nepal’s Constitution on September 20. She also spoke about Indian freight companies and transporters voicing concerns about the difficulties of movement and security within Nepal.

Urging the house to consider the merits of a visit to Nepal by an all-party delegation, Ms Swaraj said, “The government would be guided by the sentiments of the house.” Emphasising that India has stood for a peaceful conclusion to Nepal’s ongoing transition after decades of instability and violence, Ms Swaraj stated: “India will continue to encourage all sides to come to a solution sooner than later.”

On her meeting with Mr Thapa on December 2, Ms Swaraj said she was briefed about the latest developments in Nepal and stressed that there has been progress in the ongoing dialogue on the contentious issues with representatives of the agitating Madhesis. Ms Swaraj said that the new government in Nepal has not moved forward on the two important constitutional amendments on constituency delimitation on the basis of population and inclusion for needy sections.

Stranded oil tankers and vehicles carrying medical supplies through other available crossing points were also being assisted by India in re-routing.



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