December 14 ,2017 , 03:31 PM
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Counter the hegemonic hooliganism!


WM Correspondent

For the last six weeks, the daily life of almost every common Nepali have been severely paralyzed.

 They are facing the scourge of the scarcity of essential commodities like fuel, which is also the lifeline of national economy. 

And this peril has, of course, triggered from the embargo imposed by India on Nepal.  Nevertheless, the government officials are shying away from uttering the phrase ‘Indian embargo’ in a formal way.

They term the stoppage of the supply of essential goods from India as an embargo informally but in formal meetings they refuse to call so.

And, this has only stifled the country from garnering the needed international support against Indian blockade.

There are virtually no signs that India will ease the supplies of essentials including fuel to Nepal anytime soon.

When Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa visited India last week, he was assured that such supplies would be gradually eased.

However, so far, the Indian side has pathetically failed to live up its words.

The movement of cargo trucks including fuel tankers from India continues to face repeated restrictions from the Indian authorities.

New Delhi has been citing “security problems” in the Nepali side of bordering areas due to the agitation of Madhesi Morcha for throttling the supplies to Nepal. And this is outrageously ludicrous. 

There has been virtually no or very limited movement of petroleum tankers even from those border crossings where there are no obstructions. 

For instance, the fuel supply from the custom points like Jogbani and Kakadbhitta is being stopped even these points have seen any obstructions  triggered by the Morcha from in the last two weeks.

Through its blockade, New Delhi is lampooning the transit right of Nepal as a landlocked country and violating internationals laws that guarantee it.

Despite all this, the Nepali authorities have not yet responded strongly to such hegemonic hooliganism.

 ‘The approach our government officials has making towards the blockade is indeed lackadaisical. Otherwise they would have already lobbied with the international community for pressuring India to lift its blockade, say experts.

‘At least Nepal can write the United Nations, European Union and influential countries like China, Russia and Japan about the Indian embargo and ask  for help,’ they suggest.

In fact, the European Union (EU) this week came up with a press communiqué implicitly denouncing the Indian economic sanctions.

"The unofficial blockade at the Nepali border only serves to hurt the Nepali people who are still recovering from the devastating earthquakes earlier this year," the statement quoted Jean Lambert, European Parliament Delegation Chair for relations with the countries of South Asia, as saying.

She further stated that the fuel shortages as a result of the blockade are also having an impact on tourism in what is usually the peak season in Nepal, causing further damage to the economy of the country and the livelihoods of many.

The United Nations has also already warned of humanitarian crisis if the fuel crisis continues in Nepal.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) is even saying that the continuous fuel shortage along with the unrest in Tarai could hurt the country’s progress in terms of the millennium development goals (MDGs).

But, sadly, the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) has failed to respond to the Indian embargo although it is also clearly against the Safta agreement.

‘A small member state of the Saarc is being domineered and scammed by a big one in an illicit way.  But the regional bloc is mute on the issue which also indicates at its lost institutional relevance,’ say experts.   

Friday, Oct 30, 2015 12:31 pm

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