Concerned over anti-India sentiments in Nepal: Government

New Delhi, Oct 8 (IANS) Expressing concern over increasing “anti-India sentiments” in Nepal, India on Thursday urged the Nepali leadership to reach out to its people to resolve issues over the promulgation of a new constitution in the neighbouring country.

“We do recognise a growth in anti-India sentiments in Nepal. It is something we are concerned about. But who is responsible? Who stoked these anti-India sentiments and why have these peaked? (It is) Because of what is happening on the Nepali side of the border,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters here.

Swarup said the blame for the anti-India sentiments lies with the Nepali leadership.

“We hope they will do something about the issue so that the traditionally friendly relations between Nepal and India continue as before,” he said.

He said the constitution-making process was seen as unfair by certain sections of the Nepali population and hence they protested. Due to such protests, some goods from India were not able to get through the borders of the two countries, he added.

Swarup said all entry points on the India-Nepal border remained open and that the obstructions at such entry points was only due to demonstrations on the Nepali territory.

India wanted peace and stability in Nepal and was not responsible for the present situation in the Himalayan country, the MEA spokesman said.

“The problem in Nepal is of their own creation and that is why we have been urging them to reach out to their people, put their house in order and enter into some kind of dialogue with the protesters,” he said.

He said since India had open borders with Nepal, any violence would have a spill-over affect on the Indian side as well.

Swarup said India had never been prescriptive about the constitution-making process in Nepal.

“They have to resolve their problems in consultation with their own people,” he said.

The Madhesi parties from the Terai region of Nepal have been protesting at the border entry points with India to build pressure on the Nepali government to meet their demand for changes in the new constitution.

They maintain that the Terai-based people and ethnic groups have failed to find adequate representation in the country’s new constitution that was promulgated on September 20.

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