Two days after Nepal’s constituent assembly endorsed a new constitution, Indian foreign secretary S Jaishankar arrived in Kathmandu on Friday morning as a special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Jaishankar will meet President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and leaders from all political outfits in a bid to take stock of the continued unrest in Madhes and try and find a solution.
The new statute will come into operation from Sunday, but protests against it especially with the clause demarcating the country into seven states still continue in the southern plains bordering India.
India had suggested broadest possible consensus among stakeholders in Nepal so that the new statute is acceptable to all, but the major parties decided to push ahead with the constitution without finding a solution.
Fearing under-representation in the new dispensation, Madhesis, Tharus and other marginalized communities have been protesting for over a month and clashes with security personnel have claimed over 40 lives till date.
Talks with Tharu representatives were held on Thursday, but Madhesi outfits, which quit the constituent assembly, are yet to begin. They have expressed willingness to talk while continuing with protests.
Nepal’s government have announced Sunday and Monday as holidays asking people to celebrate, but parties from Madhes have decided to term Sunday as a black day and are planning to burn copies of the constitution.
Jaishankar is expected to convey Modi’s message to all stakeholders and request all to find a solution to the unrest in Madhes through talks.
India shares an 1800-km long open border with Nepal and any violence across the border can lead to security issues in Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal and Uttarakhand----states which share border with the Himalayan nation.