India desires a united, inclusive Nepal, Modi tells Nepalese deputy PM

By Sarkaritel October 20, 2015 08:08

India desires a united, inclusive Nepal, Modi tells Nepalese deputy PM

New Delhi/Kathmandu, Oct 20  Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday conveyed to visiting Nepalese Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa that India’s only desire is to see a united, inclusive, stable and prosperous Nepal, and that it is committed to strengthening the traditional bonds of friendship and kinship with Nepal’s people.

Deputy Prime Minister of Nepal, Kamal Thapa calls on the Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, in New Delhi on October 19, 2015.

Thapa, who is also the country’s foreign minister, briefed Modi about developments in Nepal when he called on the latter here.

Modi also congratulated Thapa on assuming charge as the deputy prime minister and foreign minister and also conveyed his greetings and best wishes to the new Nepali government, said an official statement.

Thapa, who returned to Kathmandu after wrapping up his three-day official visit to India, told the media upon arrival at the Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu that the Indian leadership has assured him of rerouting the cargo vehicles stranded on the Indian side and easing supplies to Nepal through the border entry points that are least affected by the protests.

“India’s prime minister, external affairs minister (Sushma Swaraj) and home minister (Rajnath Singh) clearly told me that India did not have any prescription to Nepal over the Constitution and it was a matter to be decided by the Nepali people, Nepali political parties,” Thapa said. 

“We just want to see ownership of all ensured in the constitution and that it builds up the basis of peace, stability and prosperity in the country. This is all what we want,” he quoted the Indian leaders as telling him repeatedly, according to media reports.

Thapa said he had expressed Nepal’s concerns to the Indian leadership over the acute shortage of fuel and other commodities following the pile-up of freight trucks at the border.

In response, according to Thapa, top Indian officials said India was also deeply concerned over the matter and assured him that there would not be any hindrance from their side to ease the supplies through all border entry points.

As they clearly said Nepal can import required supplies from the available border entry points, he said: “It is also our challenge to bring in the supplies.”

“They have said they are ready to send supplies up to the Nepal-India border and asked us to take them towards Nepal. Now, we have to do that,” the Himalayan Times quoted Thapa as saying.

“I believe this visit played a role in removing misunderstandings between Nepal and India,” the pro-Hindu state Rastriya Prajatantra Party-Nepal chairman said, adding that he returned home with optimism.

Thapa had flown to New Delhi on Saturday to hold talks with the Indian government over the disruption of essential supplies to Nepal.

Nepal is currently reeling under acute shortage of petroleum products and other commodities after the Madhesi parties, disgruntled over the provisions in new Constitution, resorted to obstruction of supplies at the major customs points along the Nepal-India border.

Nepalese Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli expressed confidence on Monday that the “issues” related to the blockade along the Indian border would be resolved soon.

Speaking with representatives of the Federation of Nepalese Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FNCCI) in Kathmandu, Oli said the issues, including the protests in various districts by Madhesis, will end at the earliest.

FNCCI president Pashupati Murarka said that they had sought Oli’s intervention, reported the Kathmandu Post.

Oli said his government was making efforts to resolve the issues, including easing the transit of goods to Nepal and importing goods stocked in various customs offices on the border with India through other routes.

The Madhes people, who comprise half the population of Nepal, say the new constitution denies them adequate representation and is heavily tilted in favour of the hill people.

By Sarkaritel October 20, 2015 08:08