Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) has instructed its agencies to lift the unofficial blockade against Nepal, ending 11-day restrictions on Nepal-bound cargo trucks and freights.
The unofficial blockade came in the wake of New Delhi’s concern over the unrest in Tarai following the promulgation of the new constitution. India has denied any imposition of blockade and the blamed the volatile situation in Nepal’s southern plains for the problem.
“We have held several consultations with different agencies and high-level officials to ease restrictions on the border points,” Nepal’s Ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay told the Post. He said that he had received the information from the Prime Minister’s Office and Foreign Ministry.
“As the transportation has been disrupted for the past few days, it will take some time for flow of supplies to Nepal returns to normal,” said Upadhyay.
The decision is likely to take effect on the ground on Sunday.
Prior to New Delhi’s latest move, it had held intensive consultations on its Nepal policy after Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s return from the 70th UN General Assembly. Saturday’s decision to ease restrictions comes amid India’s reading that the political negotiations in Kathmandu have progressed towards a broad agreement following the decision of the major parties to register amendments to address grievances of the disgruntled parties. This included commitment to delineate electoral constituencies based on the population and a review of constituencies every 10 years, a major demands of Madhesi and Tharu parties.
Inside Nepal, informal negotiations with disgruntled with parties is progressing well and is expected to result in an agreement with some parties, if not all.
The MEA sources say that the ministry has instructed agencies on the ground to lift restrictions from all six major and other entry points.
Indian move to ease restrictions at border points comes as culmination of a series of diplomatic engagements with the Nepali side.
Over the past week, Upadhyay and Minister for Commerce and Supplies Sunil Bahadur Thapa had met with Indian Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, National Security Adviser Ajit Doval, among others, to convince New Delhi to lift the blockade.
“This is a political issue and both sides appear to be looking for a safe landing without loosing face,” said a former Nepali ambassador to India.

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