India welcomes Nepal’s decision to amend new Constitution

logo-ministry-of-external-affairsKATHMANDU, Dec.21 (Xinhua)–India has welcomed recent decisions made by the Nepal government to amend the new Constitution to address demands of the Madhesi parties and resolve prevailing strife in the Terai region of Nepal, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said on Monday.

The Indian government’s statement regarding the political impasse in Nepal has come a day after the Nepali government decided to set up a political mechanism to recommend solutions to disputes over the proposed provincial boundaries within three months of its formation.  The Cabinet made decisions to incorporate the genuine demands raised by the agitating Madhesi parties through a Constitution amendment.

An emergency Cabinet held on Sunday evening chaired by Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli had decided to address and resolve Madhes movement launched by the fringe Madhesi parties in the Southern plains of the country against the new Constitution which was adopted on Sept 20 this year through the Constituent Assembly.

“Government of India welcomes these developments as positive steps that help create the basis for a resolution of the current impasse in Nepal. As a neighbour and well-wisher, India was deeply concerned at the unrest stemming from internal differences in Nepal on the Constitution,” read the press statement issued by the Indian foreign ministry.

The ministry also said that India has urged all Nepali political forces to now demonstrate the necessary maturity and flexibility to find a satisfactory solution to the Constitutional issues through constructive dialogue in an agreed timeframe.

“We are confident that a return to normalcy in Nepal would create a more secure and predictable climate for unimpeded commerce between our two countries,”the ministry said.

According to officials, Nepal’s Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa on Monday informed to India’s Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj that the Nepalese Cabinet had taken some important decisions to address and resolve demands regarding the Constitution raised by Madhes-based parties.

While, the Indian government has continued imposing unofficial embargo on border trade points with Nepal following the promulgation of the new Constitution in Nepal. The embargo has created a shortage of essential goods and medicines leading to a humanitarian crisis in the landlocked country which was solely dependent on India to import gasoline for several years.  The bilateral relation between the two South Asian nations has soured following the embargo.

However, India denies any kind of embargo on Nepal and cites insecurity caused by protests by Madhesi parties at the India-Nepal border areas behind obstruction of fuel and essential supplies to Nepal.

The Madhesi fringe parties have been protesting for few months against the seven-province model adopted in the new Constitution claiming that this model politically marginalizes them.

Over 50 protestors against the Constitution were killed in police firing during demonstrations by Madhesi parties in Nepal’s Terai region bordering India in the recent months.

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