Anti-India sentiment in Nepal not good for both nations: Envoy

Kathmandu, Sep 30 (IANS) India on Wednesday expressed deep concern over growing anti-India sentiment in Nepal, including setting ablaze the Indian tricolour and effigies of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying it “won’t do good to both countries”.

“We have noticed several incidents of anti-India sentiment in a section of the media, in social (networking) sites and streets. We have taken it up seriously and we have brought it to the notice of the government of Nepal,” India’s Ambassador to Nepal Ranjit Rae said at a press conference here.

Student wings of Nepal’s political parties have been staging protests in front of the Indian embassy in Kathmandu almost every day, after supplies from the Indian side stopped last week.

Expressing concern over the ongoing anti-India protest and rhetoric in Nepal, the ambassador said the agitation in the Terai districts and difficulties faced in bringing supplies from India were being used to spread anti-India sentiments.

“This is Nepal’s internal affair, not an issue between Nepal and India,” he said.

“Torching India’s flag and effigy of Prime Minister Modi won’t do good to both countries. That such incidents are happening is a serious matter,” Rae said.

The envoy stressed that India has not imposed a blockade on Nepal and that supplies to Nepal have faced obstructions due to sit-ins being staged by the agitating Madhesi parties and the unrest in the Terai region.

“India has not imposed any blockade. Difficulties have come about in transporting supplies because of sit-ins staged at the entry points,” Rae said.

“However, some supplies are entering Nepal through some customs points.”

Asserting that India always wishes for peace and stability in Nepal, Rae said the Indian government and people can never do anything that harms Nepal.

India always harbours goodwill towards Nepal, he said, recalling the assistance provided by the Indian government to Nepal in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake in April this year.

The ambassador also said it is not true that India was “unhappy” over Nepal’s new constitution.

“I would like to say on behalf of the Indian government that India is not unhappy about Nepal’s new constitution,” he said.

“We also haven’t suggested any amendment on any issue of the statute. But it is India’s stand that the ongoing agitation in the region along India’s border should be addressed through dialogue and consensus.”

Rae said that although India had felt assured that the Nepali leaders would encompass all sides in the new constitution, that did not happen.

He said that showing concern over the unrest along the Indian border before and after the promulgation of the new constitution was natural.

“But this is Nepal’s internal matter. Since it’s a political issue, India is of the view that it should be resolved through dialogue and not through the use of force.”

Rae said discussions were going on at the diplomatic level to remove obstacles in the entry of vehicles from India.

Though the ambassador Rae did not elaborate, he assured that the issues between the two countries will be solved at the earliest.

“I won’t specify any particular date. But the problem will be solved soon. It will not prolong for long.”

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