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Airing of Indian TV channels resumes in Nepal

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NewsGram Staff Writer

Kathmandu: At a time when India welcomed the move initiated by the three political majors in Nepal to hold talks with Madhesi and Tharu parties, the Nepal government on Tuesday show caused the cable operators for blacking out Indian channels. The Nepal government has directed the operators to continue airing Indian TV channels.  The Madhesi and Tharu parties are protesting against the country’s new constitution.

“We welcome the recent steps that have been taken to begin a dialogue, because that is the only way (to find a solution),” Indian ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae told at a program held in Kathmandu on Tuesday.

India has maintained that that protests against demarcation of states in the statute by Madhesis and Tharus in Nepal’s southern plains bordering India is a political crisis that can be sorted out through talks.

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The month-long protest in Nepal claimed forty four lives. The protest affected supply of goods to the neighbouring country with Indian transporters expressing reluctance to ply amidst intensified demonstration on highways and custom points in the Indo-Nepal border. Irked with the situation, cable operators blacked out India channels as a mark of protest. India has clamped an ‘economic blockade’, they alleged. However, a minor Maoist faction in the Himalayan nation had threatened to ban Indian films, TV channels and Indian vehicles in Nepal because of India’s ‘unofficial embargo’ on entry of goods.

(With inputs from HT)

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Nepal, Pakistan agree to revitalise Saarc process

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for "greater peace, security and prosperity in the region"

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  • Nepal and Pakistan agreed to revitalise Saarc
  • This is done to promote greater peace and security
  • It will be apparently beneficial for both the nations

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for “greater peace, security and prosperity in the region” during talks that visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held with the Himalayan nation’s leadership.

Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons
Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons

Abbasi on Tuesday met Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and addressed a programme at the Saarc Secretariat here. He also held a meeting with CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in the morning.

Bhandari and Abbasi hoped to reinvigorate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as an important regional organisation. The Pakistani leader said that “issues of the countries in the region should not affect the activities of Saarc and its performance”.

He emphasised the need to make Saarc “more effective” in the days ahead. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual importance, including political, economic, defence and cultural fields.

On Monday evening, Abbasi met his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli and both decided to revitalise the stalled Saarc process.

Also Read: India pulled out of SAARC meeting that is to be held in Pakistan

The Pakistani leader sought to host the 19th Saarc Summit of the regional grouping and asked Nepal to create a “favourable environment” for the same. The summit has been postponed since 2016 after a military attack on an Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the attack, India unilaterally suspended its participation from the summit. Several member states rallied behind India’s position.

Nepal is the current chair of the regional grouping. Oli’s chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal said “both leaders held a common view on taking the Saarc forum ahead as it was a common platform for all member countries and still significant”.

The step is taken to improve relationships between the two countries.

Addressing a function at the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Abbasi said peace, security and mutual friendship were essential for the prosperity of South Asia.

“Pakistan has undivided belief in the Saarc objectives, ideologies and principles,” he said, adding that Islamabad was fully committed to the Saarc charter.

Abbasi also announced doubling the scholarships provided to Nepal by the Pakistan government and proposed to set up a joint parliamentary panel between Kathmandu and Islamabad. IANS

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