Will look beyond India if blockade doesn't end: Nepal

Will look beyond India if blockade doesn't end: Nepal
 Nepal will have to look beyond India if the blockade of its borders by anti-Constitution protesters which has hit essential supplies does not end and the obvious partner would be China, Nepalese Ambassador to New Delhi Deep Kumar Upadhyay said today.

The envoy said the landlocked country is undergoing a "crisis" because of the disruption in cross-border traffic, which had badly impacted transportation of essential commodities, especially fuel. He insisted the agreement between Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) and Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) should not be "violated".

Upadhyay said Nepal wants to "clear all misunderstanding" and "negativities" between the two countries and contended that India being a "big country should not show a small heart."

"When we are asked (by journalists) on what if the blockade does not end, then we say that we have to look at the world outside. Nepal is surrounded by India on three sides. On one side you have the Himalayas where the terrain is so difficult. Our priority would be restoring normalcy with the help of the Indian government.

"If this (easing) does not happen, then we have to look out to the world. It would be our helplessness (in doing that). But things won't reach that far. And it is also our desire (that things don't reach that point). On one hand we have India on three sides and on other hand we have China. So in the whole world's context, only these two countries can come for us," Upadhyay said.

He was speaking at the a conference on 'Interaction Programme on the New Constitution of Nepal' organised by Samyukta Pravasi Nepal Association in India.

Nepal has alleged that India has imposed an economic blockade on the country following the announcement of its new Constitution, which is being seen as against the interest of Indian-origin Madhesi community living in the Terai region of the Himalayan nation.

Noting that the two countries have historical and civilisational links, Upadhyay said, the "crisis" should not have happened in the first place.

He said Nepal will never step back on the "warm hand" extended by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the development of the Himalayan country.

"The people of Nepal are undergoing a crisis because petroleum products are the lifeline of Nepal. You must be aware that national festivals like Dussehra and Diwali are round the corner and lakhs of Nepalese who are outside want to visit Nepal.

"The medical supplies in hospitals everywhere...then it is the oxygen cylinders, medicines have been affected. We have kept this before the Indian government humbly," the envoy said.

He as per the oil agreement between the fuel companies of the two countries the supply should be restored.

"There is an agreement between the Indian Oil Corporation and Nepal Oil Corporation to provide oil (to Nepal). It is still unbelievable that the oil supply is being disrupted by India. We have requested the IOC and the Indian government not to disrupt the lifeline supply.

"There is an agreement between the IOC and Nepal Oil Corporation and this should not be violated," the envoy said.

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