Govt mobilises missions to ‘internationalise blockade’

- Post Report, Kathmandu
The initiative follows the government decision to seek ways to import fuel from other countries, including China

Oct 27, 2015-As the fuel crisis deepens due to India’s “unofficial blockade”, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has asked Nepal’s diplomatic missions abroad to explore alternatives to resolve the crisis.

The move is aimed at internationalising the blockade and claiming Nepal’s guaranteed transit right from India as suggested by former diplomats and political leaders.

The initiative follows the government decision to seek ways to import fuel from other countries, including China, to resolve the persisting crisis.

The ministry has directed its missions to hold consultations with concerned individuals and organisations in the host countries on the ways out if the current blockade continues.

The government has been pressed to internationalise the issue to get the Indian government to lift the blockade. The ruling CPN-UML and UCPN (Maoist) are pressing the government to take prompt measures to import fuel from other countries. Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa has intensified diplomatic efforts to seek alternatives.

“Obviously, we seek suggestions from diplomatic missions on how to resolve the crisis. It’s also a duty of the missions to suggest possible ways,” Foreign Secretary Shankar Das Bairagi told the Post. However, Bairagi said such communication should not be taken as internationalising the issue.

Last week, Minister Thapa visited India in order to make efforts to ease the supply of fuel and other essentials from India. He met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Sushma Swaraj to discuss the problem.

A week after his visit, Thapa told Parliament on Saturday that India did not facilitate the supply as per its commitment. As there are no signs of lifting the blockade immediately, the government has intensified talks with China to bring fuel from north as soon as possible. A government team on Monday left for China to reach a deal on fuel import.

Published: 27-10-2015 08:15

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