New Nepal Constitution Should Address Concerns of All: India
outlookindia 2015-09-18 15:27

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar today said Nepal's new Constitution should address concerns of all sides as he called on the top leadership here following violent protests by Madhesi groups over a federal structure that has spilled over to districts bordering India.

During his meeting with President Ram Baran Yadav at the Rastrapati Bhawan, Jaishankar, who is here as Prime Minister Narendra Modi's special envoy, underlined the need to address the concerns of all sides while promulgating the new statute, President's press advisor Rajendra Dahal told PTI.

Jaishankar, who arrived here today on a two-day visit, pointed out that this would help protect the achievements of sustainable peace and development.

A wide range of issues relating to Nepal-India relations were covered during the discussion, Dahal said.

The Foreign Secretary expressed India's concern regarding ongoing political crisis in Nepal and also extended goodwill for promulgating the constitution, he added.

Jaishankar also paid a courtesy call on Prime Minister Sushil Koirala at his official residence at Baluwatar.

He held a separate meeting with UCP-Maoist chairman Prachanda and discussed the country's latest political situation amid protests by Madhesi groups over the issue of federating the country in the new Constitution to be unveiled on Sunday.

Violence surrounding the federal structure that will divide the country into seven provinces has triggered violence in the Himalayan nation, claiming at least 40 lives.

The Foreign Secretary's visit to Nepal at a time when preparations to promulgate the new constitution has reached its final stage, is regarded here as "significant".

Jaishankar also met prominent Madhesi leaders including Bijay Gachhadar, Mahantha Thakur and Upendra Yadav, according to party sources. The Madhes-based political parties have launched agitation over the issue of adopting a federal model in the new constitution.

Earlier, he met other senior leaders of Nepal including CPN-UML chairman K P Sharma Oli here.

Oli informed him about the progress made by Nepal in drafting the new constitution and assured that the issues raised by the Madhesi communities of southern Nepal will also be addressed in the new statute in an attempt to bring the disgruntled parties in the political mainstream, CPN-UML sources said.

During his meeting with Nepalese leaders, Jaishankar is also learnt to have expressed India's concern over the escalating violence in the southern Nepal bordering Indian states over the issue of federal structure.

Nepal's Constituent Assembly (CA) has already finalised the final draft of the new Constitution and Yadav will promulgate the statute on Sunday during a special function.

CA Chairman Subas Nembang today authenticated the new constitution after 537 members of the 601-member Assembly signed it.
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