Nepal forms panel to ease political standoff with India

Kathmandu, Oct 9 (IANS) The Nepal government on Friday formed a three- member panel to talk with India to end the current political and diplomatic standoff and ensure smooth supply of essential commodities, including petroleum products.

Nepal is facing a crisis after thousands of Nepal-bound trucks remain stranded at the Nepal-India border following violent demonstrations, protests and unrest in Nepal. The protests — against the newly-adopted constitution — have claimed more than 40 lives.

A cabinet meeting on Friday formed a three-member talk team headed by Minister for Foreign Affairs Mahendra Bahadur Pandey and having Chief Secretary of the Nepal government, Somlal Subedi, and Commerce and Supplies Secretary Naindra Prasad Upadhyay as members.

Though the detailed terms of reference of the Pandey-led panel were yet to be made public by the government, sources told IANS that the team will soon visit Indian capital New Delhi where it will hold high-level meetings with senior Indian ministers and officials.

The team will communicate the ground realities and will seek a possible solution.

Nepal is reeling under shortage of essential commodities including fuel, medicine and other goods of daily use.

India has denied imposing any kind of embargo against Nepal and refuted all allegations made against it. It has been repeatedly saying that obstruction at the border on the Nepali side was the main reason behind the stoppage of truck movement across the India-Nepal border.

Another talks team headed by Commerce Minister Sunil Bahadur Thapa was also formed to ensure smooth supplies of fuel from India, according to the cabinet decision.

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