At the end of his three-day visit, Nepal’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Kamal Thapa on Monday said he had given a new boost to India-Nepal ties but he was yet to find the way to end the economic blockade.
“A committee for dialogue with the Madhesi leaders has been set up by Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli. But, we are unable to find an end to the blockade right away. We need India’s support to end the blockade,” he told The Hindu at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Though some of the eastern and western supply routes to Nepal have witnessed better vehicular movements, bringing temporary relief, the main supply route of Birganj which connects Kathmandu with the world economy remains blocked, causing difficulties for the economic heart of Nepal.
“I am deeply aware that people are suffering in Nepal due to the blockade on fuel movement but I cannot declare that Birganj-Raxaul blockade has ended on landing in Kathmandu,” he said before flying out.
Mr Thapa, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday morning, said that he was confident after receiving assurances from Mr Modi that the blockade would not last long.
Mr. Thapa’s visit was, however, seen as a failure by former ambassador and academic S.D. Muni: “Mr Thapa has obviously failed in his visit if he is unable to declare an end to the blockade upon landing in Kathmandu, as finding an end to the blockade was the responsibility that the Nepali Prime Minister gave him,” Dr. Muni said.