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In Delhi, Kamal Thapa ‘signed’ four-point ‘commitment’ to end Nepal crisis

Kathmandu, December 5.  Deputy Prime Minister Kamal Thapa presented a four-point commitment in New Delhi to end the crisis in Nepal, Onlinekhabar has learnt.

Thapa, who was in Delhi this week, met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj twice; he also held talks with India’s ‘shadow foreign minister’ and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. Prime Minister KP Oli talked to Swaraj over the phone while Thapa was still in Delhi.

So what is in the four-point ‘commitment’ that “removed the misunderstanding between Nepal and India”? 

Multiple sources had told Online Khabar that the four points in the commitment are:

1) To make changes to the boundaries of the provinces through a constitutional amendment

2) In making changes to the boundaries, the ruling alliance shall take the demands of the Madheshis into account

3) The changes to the boundaries will be made by forming a political committee on the basis of political consensus, within three months

4) Ambiguities related to citizenship provisions to be addressed

After Thapa made the commitment, the Indian side is learnt to have said that the obstructions on the border will be removed after the first amendment to the new constitution is made.

Parties respond to Thapa’s commitment

However, the the ruling alliance and the opposition have some reservations about Thapa’s commitment. They maintain that there are no ‘ambiguities’ in the constitutional provisions related to citizenship. Similarly, leaders like Sher Bahadur Deuba, Krishna Sitaula, Madhav Nepal and Bhim Rawal have taken a stand against the revision of provincial boundaries.

Madheshi parties in no mood to compromise

Because questions have been raised about the commitment from within the ruling alliance, and changes have been made to the original commitment, analysts believe that India may not take this positively.

While non-Madheshi parties were discussing Thapa’s ‘commitment’ (read ‘proposal), Madheshi parties were in Lainchaur discussing the same with Indian Ambassador Rae. The Madheshi parties have indicated that they are not happy with what New Delhi has agreed with Thapa.

What next ?

It is clear that the Madheshi parties will not sit for talks before they return from Delhi. A source says, even if there are talks, an agreement would be hard to reach.

The other thing India is wary about is that the Madheshi parties may not accept the proposed solution, and this might put India in a fix. However, if the course of events moves according to Thapa’s proposal, the blockade is likely to end soon.

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