Thapa claims govt already reached agreement with protesting parties to end crisis

KATHMANDU: Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamal Thapa reportedly said that the government has already reached an agreement with protesting Madhesi parties to end the current political crisis and economic blockade.

Thapa, who is in India currently on a private trip, told The Hindu that a three-step political agreement has been reached with the agitators.

The agreement was prompted by the alarming rise of extremist sentiments in all political sections during the three-month blockade and related hardships, Thapa said, according to the story published on the Indian newspaper on Thursday.

“The consensus which is in a preliminary stage needs a lot of care, support and understanding from all the stakeholders,” the paper quoted Thapa as telling it in "an exclusive interview."

“We had to stop the extremist forces from using Nepal’s political platform and that is why this agreement was reached in the interest of the future of Nepal,” he said.

"The minister said that under the framework agreement, the issue of territorial demarcation of the Madhesis and their cultural and political rights would be adequately addressed," the newspaper added, "While the demarcation might take three months to be implemented, other decisions would be implemented immediately. He also conceded that “past errors” by certain groups might have contributed to the present crisis in Nepal."

Adding that a key aspect of the solution package will be the constitutional amendments, the DPM revealed that the government has proposals for amendments ready and will clear the ambiguities around the process.

During his India trip, Thapa on Wednesday had called on Indian Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.

Thapa is scheduled to return home today.