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Border blockade a dark episode: Nepal (Relevant for GS Mains Paper II)

Highlights of Nepalese Foreign Minister Meet
1. Kathmandu’s Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat demanded introspection on the months-long blockade that hurt Nepal’s economy.
It is alleged by Nepal that blockade is undertaken by Madhesis in Nepal with the help of Madheshis in India. Madhesis are undertaking blockade to seek demarcation of provinces on the basis of their population.

2. During the visit, he firmed up the agenda of the upcoming India visit of Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda,” and met with his counterpart Sushma Swaraj. 

3. Mr. Mahat said that Nepal wanted to prioritise infrastructure projects and better trade ties with India. “Nepal needs market access from India. Without more access to the Indian market sympathetic investors are unable come in to Nepal. Lack of investment to Kathmandu is hurting .

Change of Nepal’s Stand after Change of government in Nepal
The present round of visits from Nepal began when Deputy Prime Minister Bimalendra Nidhi visited India in August, after the new coalition government in Kathmandu took charge replacing the government of K.P. Sharma Oli.

Mr. Mahat’s visit also coincided with the return of Deep Kumar Upadhyay to Delhi, the Nepali ambassador whom Mr. Oli had recalled. 

Mr. Oli’s government had blamed India repeatedly for supporting the pro-blockade Madhesi parties of Nepal. Madhesi parties, partners in the present government, had demanded a strict timeline from Mr. Prachanda for fulfilling the promise of constitutional amendments and territorial demarcation of Nepal.

Nepal claiming that it want ties with both India and China
Mr. Mahat said that Kathmandu would engage with bigger neighbours like India and China without neglecting Nepali national interest.
“We are looking forward to a visit from Indian President Pranab Mukherjee and are hopeful that Chinese President Xi Jinping too will visit Kathmandu in near future,” Mr. Mahat said indicating that Nepal will remain equally engaged with both the ‘northern neighbour’ China, and ‘southern neighbour’ India.

 



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