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India expresses concern over lack of political progress in Nepal

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New Delhi/Geneva: India has expressed concern over the lack of political progress in Nepal but promised to continue to extend all assistance to the Himalayan nation for its peace, stability and socioeconomic development.

India made the statement at the second Universal Periodic Review (UPR), part of the Interactive Dialogue at the 23rd Session of the UPR Working Group at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva on Wednesday.

Welcoming the delegation from Nepal led by Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa, India in its statement said the people of the South Asian nation, after having endured a devastating earthquake in April this year, were facing another tough challenge during the ongoing political transition.

“Violence and instability in parts of Nepal have worsened in the run-up to and after the adoption of Nepal’s constitution in September 2015,” the Indian statement said.

“Over 45 persons died, mostly civilians, and hundreds injured. Firings, which ceased just after the adoption of the constitution (of Nepal), have reoccurred. We are concerned over the lack of political progress.”

The UPR is a unique mechanism of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC) aimed at improving the human rights situation on the ground of each of the 193 UN member states.

Under this mechanism, the human rights situation of all UN member states is reviewed every four-and-half-years. Forty two states are reviewed each year during three Working Group sessions dedicated to 14 states each. These three sessions are usually held in January-February, May-June and October-November.

“We note the concerns expressed by UN human rights bodies, UN country team and Nepal’s own human rights commission over continuing incidents of violence, extra-judicial killings, and ethnic discrimination in the country,” the Indian statement said.

“We urge the government of Nepal to investigate and take credible measures to prevent their recurrence. The problems facing Nepal are political in nature and cannot be resolved through force or a security-based approach.

India said, as a close and friendly neighbor, it has consistently appealed to the Nepal government to address all challenges in a spirit of dialogue and reconciliation.

Referring to Thapa’s statement that Nepal was currently in a very delicate situation resulting from the obstruction of essential supplies at the border points with India, New Delhi stated: “Obstruction referred in the honorable minister’s statement is on the Nepalese side caused by Nepalese protesters.”

The Indian statement said, “with deep rooted historic and cultural ties, will continue to extend all assistance to Nepal for peace, stability and socioeconomic development of the country”.

(IANS)

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India, Nepal Review New Developments in Ties

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning more towards China than India

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Sushma Swaraj, External affairs minister of India. Wikimedia

Recent developments in India-Nepal ties across various sectors came up for discussion during a meeting between External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Thursday.

“The two ministers reviewed recent developments in bilateral ties across diverse sectors, including progress achieved on the three transformative initiatives launched in 2018 in the areas of agriculture, railways and inland waterways as well as pace of implementation of ongoing bilateral development and connectivity projects,”the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement.

“They expressed satisfaction at the significant progress made in different sectors of cooperation as a result of intensified bilateral exchanges at all levels in recent months,” it said.

According to the statement, the two leaders reiterated their commitment to maintain the new momentum and to further strengthen the traditionally close and friendly ties between the two countries.

India Pak relations
India, Nepal review new developments in ties.

India reset its ties with Nepal last year through a visit by Prime Minister Modi, his first after K.P. Sharma Oli became the Prime Minister.

During the visit, both sides agreed to boost trade and economic links, connectivity via air, land and water, people-to-people ties, with Modi declaring that India will work like a sherpa in the Himalayan nation’s development endeavours.

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This happened after there was a chill in India-Nepal ties during Oli’s earlier stint between October 2015 and August 2016 when a border blockade blamed on New Delhi crippled Nepal’s economy.

There were also perceptions that Oli was leaning more towards China than India. (IANS)