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India a very good friend, China too has helped: Nepal

Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey says, 'we are very grateful to the Indian government for the help'.

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Nepal Foreign Minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, overseeing rescue work with the international community,  says ‘we are very grateful to the Indian government for the help’.

How is the situation now?
The situation is a bit improved. There was a big tremor last night, and since then it has been calm. There are bodies under the debris in many places. They are being taken out from various places. Many are being sent for cremation. Many have been injured badly, and they are being sent to hospitals. In remote areas, helicopters have been pressed into service to bring the injured to Kathmandu or places where there are good hospitals.

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How has the international response been?
Many friendly nations — our neighbours, the SAARC countries, Europe and America — are reaching out to help. These countries include Japan, Singapore, China, India and Pakistan. India and China are sending specialised disaster relief personnel, and they are working very hard. The progress is good.

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India is a very good, friendly country. Immediately after the earthquake struck our country, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi called up our President Ram Baran Yadav and his counterpart, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala. And that kickstarted the Indian assistance to us, as a very good friend. We are very grateful to the Indian government for the help.

How has China helped?
They too are sending teams of people and medicines. They are trying their best to rescue our people. We have divided areas between India and China.

Have you had any personal loss in the disaster?
As one of the responsible members of government, personal loss is a minor thing. I have to pay attention to the country, and think of national problems. There is no time to think about my personal losses.

What are the challenges ahead?
The earthquake has not only destroyed buildings and killed people, it has also devastated old, historic buildings that are of world heritage value. We have to erect them at the same place; that is going to be a big challenge. Thousands of people have lost their lives, more than 3,600 so far, and their homes and properties have been destroyed. Their rehabilitation and reconstruction will be a herculean task.

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Are political differences a hurdle?
There are no differences among any parties on overcoming the disaster. We have accepted multi-party democracy and dialogue will continue to bridge the differences on the drafting of the Constitution. At the national level, we are united in this hour of crisis.

First published on: 28-04-2015 at 04:02:01 am
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