India could send an all-party delegation to Nepal to broker peace

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Dec 04, 2015 08:01 IST
Indian and Nepalese citizens queue up with empty containers at a petrol pump near the India-Nepal border at Panitanki on December 1, 2015, during an ongoing dispute between Nepal and India. (AFP)

The government on Thursday sought to send an all-party delegation to Nepal in a bid to reach out to its neighbour and address the growing anti-India sentiment there.

The Rajya Sabha will also hold a short-duration discussion soon over the situation in Nepal.

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said the present state of confrontation in Nepal needs to be addressed credibly and effectively by political parties and people there.

“There has been the broadest goodwill for Nepal in India and full political consensus on our policy. In that tradition, I would urge the House to consider the merits of a visit to Nepal by an all-party delegation. The government will be guided by the sentiments of the House,” she said.

Swaraj made the statement in the Rajya Sabha on the “Situation in Nepal and the state of Indo-Nepal relations” in response to a calling attention motion moved by Janata Dal (United) member and former diplomat Pavan Varma after which members demanded more time for discussion on the matter, which was accepted by the chair.

“India’s only interest is in a peaceful, united and stable Nepal and our approach to the present crisis is completely consistent with these objectives,” Swaraj said.

The government also asserted it had imposed no blockade and was, in fact, trying to re-route supplies via available routes and by air.

Talking about disruptions in supplies from India to Nepal, Swaraj said, “Contrary to some canards on this issue, there is no blockade by India.” Any obstructions caused are by the Nepalese people, which is beyond the control of India, said Swaraj.

The minister said India is assisting in re-routing stranded POL (petrol, oil and lubricant) tankers and vehicles carrying medical supplies through other available crossing points along with airlifts.

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