Diplomatic Briefing

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Newsline: Diplomat tells India to keep off Nepal affairs

A senior Nepali diplomat based in Kolkata, rather uncharacteristically, issued a veiled threat to India, stating that his country “would not hesitate to update the bigger powers in the region about the situation” if Delhi kept mounting pressure on Kathmandu. He was responding to a question about the present imbroglio related to the drafting of the country’s Constitution. The diplomat’s allusion to China, in language couched in diplomatic jargon, is an obvious warning to India. Perhaps this is the first time that a Nepali diplomat has used such strong language against India, at the same time hinting at the possibility of his country sending feelers to the super power in the region, China. The problem started on September 20 when Delhi proposed that the Madhesis, who constitute one-third of Nepal’s population, be accorded full citizenship and representation in the government and the security establishment. Nepal refused to accept the proposal, arguing that “naturalised citizens” were not allowed to head the government or security establishments. Eventually, the supply of goods from India to Nepal, including household items and fuel, was stopped. It is unclear if the movement of goods was officially stopped by India or by transporters owing to the disturbances on the border.



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