India calls for dialogue to ease Nepal situation


India on Friday expressed hope that the volatile situation in Nepal will ease at the earliest and reiterated that the Nepalese leadership needed to address the causes behind the unrest, in the wake of violent protests over the new constitution.

In a statement, the external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup also said that two main border crossing points into Nepal were blocked due to the protests by plainspeople and that freight traffic was hit.

The statement said, “We have seen reports of obstructions at various entry-exit points at the India-Nepal border. The reported obstructions are due to unrest, protests and demonstrations on the Nepalese side, by sections of their population. As was already said on 21 September 2015, our freight forwarders and transporters had voiced complaints about the difficulties they are facing in movement within Nepal and their security fears, due to the prevailing unrest.”

It added, “We would reiterate that issues facing Nepal are political in nature. Nepalese leadership needs to address the causes underlying the present state of confrontation credibly and effectively. Issues of differences should be resolved and institutionalized with broad-based ownership and acceptance. We do hope the situation will ease at the earliest.”

Hundreds of freight carrier trucks and fuel tankers have been stopped on the Indian side, following concerns over the violent protests in Nepal. The agitating Madhesi parties from the Terai region maintain that the new constitution has left them out of the reckoning. They have intensified protests at the border entry points to pile pressure on the Nepalese government to meet their demands on amendments to the constitution.

Nepalese Prime Minister Sushil Koirala has cancelled his visit to New York to attend the UN General Assembly session. He was to fly to New York on Wednesday evening with an 18-member delegation.

With the situation in the Terai getting more volatile, Koirala is set to hold parleys with the disgruntled parties over the constitution.

Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh is to lead the Nepali delegation to the UNGA.

Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey has left for New York to participate in the 70th session of UNGA.