Updated: October 17, 2015 2:55:56 am
In a reach-out by Nepal’s new Prime Minister K P Oli, he will be sending Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa to New Delhi for consultations from October 17 to 19. This comes amid “evolution” of Oli’s views in the last few weeks over the Madhesi agitation against the new Constitution, which India feels is not inclusive and broad-based.
Thapa is scheduled to meet External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. However, no meeting between him and Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been announced yet.
“The visit will provide an opportunity to discuss all issues of mutual concern as well as review and further strengthening of India-Nepal relations,” MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said Thursday.
Thapa is also the coordinator of a three-member team formed by the Nepal government to hold talks with Indian authorities to end blockade of key trade points by Indian-origin Madhesi people who are opposed to splitting the country into seven provinces.
On the supplies of commodities to Nepal from the Indian side which were getting affected due to protests there, Swarup said Indian trucks are waiting to enter Nepal, which would happen once the political situation on the Nepal side becomes more conducive.
Giving details of situation at various key entry and exit points between Indian and Nepal, he said out of nine crossing points for carrying commercial cargo on the border, five to six points have been constantly in use and in past 24 hours, 733 commercial vehicles moved through seven crossing points.
Nearly 2,500 trucks are waiting on the Indian side, out of which 1,500-2,000 are at Raxaul and 750 at Sanauli – waiting to cross over, he said.
Meanwhile, India on Thursday decided to tighten security along the porous border to check movement of extremist elements and smuggling of counterfeit currency and narcotics. A high-level meeting was convened in the Home Ministry, in which Home Minister Rajnath Singh was given a detailed presentation by the Ministry’s Border Management Division on projects along the 1,751-km long Indo-Nepal border.
Sources said India may set up multi-layer security rings within 15 kilometres on border areas in Uttrakhand, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, West Bengal and Sikkim. Of the 1,751 km long border, 263 km falls in Uttarakhand, 560 km in UP, 729 km in Bihar, 100 km in West Bengal and 99 km in Sikkim. The Home Ministry has decided to press for speedy clearances with Chief Ministers of concerned states and the Union Ministry of Environment & Forests to expedite these projects.
In Nepal, Prime Minister K P Oli said that an unhindered ‘transit’ was the inherent right of a landlocked country that has been endorsed by international covenants and treaty, and “India should honour it by lifting the undeclared blockade.” Speaking in parliament after his election as the Prime Minister, Oli said the undeclared blockade was an act by India against the bilateral treaties and international covenants, and India should lift it.
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