No ‘big brother’ approach towards Nepal, says govt

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Old 08-Dec-2015
Post No ‘big brother’ approach towards Nepal, says govt

Expressing hope that the ongoing crisis in Nepal will be resolved in a week’s time, India today said it respects the sovereignty of the neighbouring country and wants to see it resolve its issues through political engagements.
Replying to a discussion on the “Situation in Nepal and the status of the Indo-Nepal Relations” in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj rubbished the charge that India was responsible for blockade of supplies to the Himalayan nation.
She also rejected allegation that the Narendra Modi government adopted a “big brother” approach towards its neighbour, thereby leading to deterioration in relations between the two nations. “Instead, we are adopting an elderly brother approach, a caring and sharing approach,” Swaraj said, adding this had been demonstrated through different measures taken by the Narendra Modi government since assuming power, including the humanitarian support extended after the April earthquake.
Swaraj said India wanted to see Nepal resolve the crisis through consensus as violence could also adversely impact it. “Nepal is a sovereign country and we respect its sovereignty. We are not prescriptive but only give advice,” she said.
The NDA government would follow the policy of the previous government with regard to Nepal, she added.
Explaining how the Indian Government was engaged in Nepal’s Constitution drafting process for a long, Swaraj also accused the Constituent Assembly of endorsing the statute in a hurry, without any serious debate, while removing provisions of proportional inclusion.
The problems in Nepal started with the promulgation of a new Constitution which India maintains is not “inclusive” and does not protect the rights of the minorities. At the heart of the problem lies the Madhesis who live in the Terai region bordering India and are culturally closer to it.
Swaraj told the House that over the past couple of days she had held meetings with Nepal’s Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa and also leaders of the restive Madhesi Morcha leaders in New Delhi. She said she expressed with the Nepalese Minister India’s concerns of the unrest turning violent and affecting border areas in the Indian side.
India enjoys peaceful border on one said and it should be allowed to remain as one, she said. “Still a way can be found... We are doing the same... We want to see a resolution through consensus so that supplies could be restored at the earliest.
“We hope some solution will emerge in 5-7 days only through political consultations,” she said.

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