Lawmakers raise border blockade issue in House

Kathmandu, Oct 9: Members of Parliament today have formally begun discussions on the issues of the undeclared border blockade and problems caused by it in the meeting of the Legislature-Parliament. Most of the MPs in the meeting have urged the government to take political and diplomatic initiations to resolve the problem and the House should inform them about the issue. 

MPs urged the government to open the northern border points to ease the supply as an alternative way rather than being fully dependent on India.

Nepali Congress MP Bharat Shah said that the country was facing acute shortage of gas, petroleum products and even medicine due to the undeclared border blockade. He urged the government not to let the Indian land to be used against Nepal and create torture on the Nepalese. He added that India has imposed border blockade for three times aiming to torture Nepalese, and therefore, political parties should be serious for the solution to this problem and to reopen the Tatopani border point.

Similarly, CPN (UML) MP Bhim Rawal said that India had no rights to impose any kind of border blockade. He added that the agreements of 1987, the Treaty on Trade and Transit -1999, the Geneva Convention on Access to Sea Transit, Free Trade Development and Transit-2013 read that if there were any hindrances then they could be resolved through the dialogue between two parties but no means of blocked would be acceptable on the provision of the treaties and agreements.

He pointed out the need of special proposal to resolve the issue from the sovereign Parliament. Leader Rawal added that some Indian leaders had suggested resolving the problem saying it was Nepal's problem but imposed undeclared border blockade in the name of domestic hindrances, which would not be acceptable. He stressed on informing the issues to the international community as the neighboring country was violating the international laws.

Similarly, UCPN (Maoist) MP Agni Prasad Sapkota criticized the government for failing to raise the issue in international forum though the international community was closely observing the issue.  

He added that such issues could have been raised in the recently-held UN general assembly but the government failed to do so.            

Saying that dignified Nepali people do not bow down even they are suffering from various problems, he urged the government to take special initiations with the international community to end the problems facing Nepal.

He also accused the Prime Minister of failure to take any effective steps to bring in petroleum products from China even if the northern neighbor is ready for that matter.

Dilnath Giri of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Nepal, also accused the government for being a mute spectator to speak officially about the ‘blockade’ by India, instead of resolving the problems through diplomatic and political channels.

Saying that India has imposed the blockade, breaching the rights of a landlocked country to have access to transit facility, he stressed the need to pay heeds towards opening the northern border points to ease the crisis of goods and fuel in Nepal.

Ashok Rai, leader of the Sanghiya Samajwadi Forum, accused the government of apathy towards addressing the demands of the agitating groups in the Tarai and of being a mute spectator to the blockade that has breached the international laws.

He accused the southern neighbour of violating the international laws and also rapped the government of not taking any initiatives to internationalise the issue for the implementation of the law.

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