Nepal-India ties shouldn’t deteriorate; China no substitute to India: Senior Nepali economist

Nepal-India relationship should not deteriorate over the border row as the landlocked country is dependent on its southern neighbour for all the essential items and it would be unwise to consider China as an “alternative”, a leading Nepali economist said on Monday.

Commenting on Nepal’s move to amend the Constitution for incorporating India’s territory of Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, Dr Posh Raj Pandey, the executive chairman of the South Asia Watch on Trade Economics and Environment (SAWTEE), a consortium of South Asian NGOs, said that its economic impact will depend upon how India reacts.

”Nepal is not only a landlocked country, but also India locked as it is surrounded by India from the three sides. The situation will be vulnerable. If India retaliates, it will have a huge economic impact on the country,” said Pandey, who has been working on issues of international trade and economic development for over 20 years.

His remarks came as Nepal’s ruling and Opposition political parties on Saturday voted in unison to amend the Constitution to update the national emblem by incorporating the controversial map incorporating Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura in India’s Uttarakhand.

India has described Nepal’s move as “untenable.” Pandey said that the ”Nepal-India relations should not be allowed to damage and there is a need for early negotiations and a dialogue to resolve the issue at the earliest”.

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