Nepal warns that shortages of gasoline and medicine will be severe soon as supplies from India are not arriving during protests at border crossings by hundreds of people angry about Nepal’s new constitution. This area is home to Kathmandu, and the Gurkha or Nepali people who form about 45 percent of the country’s population.
The foreign secretary reportedly said that a constitution that doesn’t take everyone on board will not be acceptable to India.
Rights groups say the constitution discriminates against women by making it more hard for mothers to pass on citizenship to their children than fathers. That Mr Doval is now in the frame shows that the government gets it. The question is, though, what can he do about it without pushing Nepal into being our new Sri Lanka? Jaishankar said promulgation of the new Constitution should be an occasion of joy and not violence. The truth is that Nepal is very important to India because of its location along its sensitive northern border.
Earlier this week, the ministry had issued a statement saying Indian 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. When Nepal was hit by a devastating quake this year that left more than 9,000 dead, India pledged $1 billion in aid and its army assisted in relief efforts. The writers of the new constitution identified ensuring fundamental rights, freedom of press, rule of law, as well as an independent judiciary and abandoning impunity for certain criminal activities as crucial steps for the future development of the country.
They have intensified protests at the border entry points to build pressure on the Nepal government to meet their demands for amending the constitution.
But this last week, ties took a nosedive over India’s lukewarm reaction to Nepal’s new Constitution.
Although India has denied imposing an economic blockade, Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) has not been able to import fuel since Thursday. They also hoped to strengthen infrastructure, restructure the educational system, abolish widespread corruption and abuse of public office, and fight widespread nepotism.
Mr Koirala would not visit New York this week for the United Nations meeting, because of the disturbances, his press officer, Prakash Adhikari, said, but Deputy Prime Minister Prakash Man Singh would go instead.
The charter is the final stage in a peace process that began when Maoist fighters laid down their arms in 2006 after a decade-long insurgency aimed at abolishing an autocratic monarchy and creating a more equal society.