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India's unofficial blockade of Nepal: A Nepali perspective

04:26 PM | 7 Dec, 2015
India's unofficial blockade of Nepal: A Nepali perspective
Examining the historical build-up to the current 'unofficial blockade' of Nepal by India, the core problem seems to be the unregulated 'open-border policy' adopted by the mountainous nation with its giant neighbor. Nepal is facing a classic case of power struggle and power sharing, with the Madheshis (Indian immigrants in Nepali border areas) adamantly seeking more power, and predominant power structures resisting it.

This was bound to happen given several decades of unregulated open-border. For decades Nepal and India shared open borders allowing free movement of goods and people. This has allowed a considerable population from India to settle within Nepali territory (in border areas) and acquire Nepali citizenship, thus entitling themselves and justifying their rationale to demand 'more power'. The power tussle is explicitly internal with fears of future consequences.

Resistance and acceptance is a natural process. There is mistrust among the indigenous power exercisers (Hill people) regarding the immigrants (Madeshis) on the basis of socio-economic & cultural grounds (roti-beti relationship). The real fear rests in disintegration and integration. That is, disintegration of certain plain portions (terai) of Nepal integrated into bordering Indian provinces, with the 'negotiated power' and its potential cultivation with cultural 'roti-beti' associations in near/far future. This fear and mistrust is not openly shared and communicated in order to develop a political process to establish trust amongst natives and Madeshi Nepali. Hence, the propagated clashes of ideologies, power differences, evolved unofficial blockade, shortage of fuel, disruption of economic activities, sufferings of the people (both native and Madeshi) follows.

Few decades in time, into the future, with no critical analysis of the unregulated open-border policy of Nepal-India, especially concerning free movement of people, another struggle of similar nature is around the corner. Couple of hundred thousand Indian immigrants, again in a couple of decades could easily settle in the Nepali land and demand for more power on the basis of their proportional size. A logical solution to problems surfaced in recent times, yet to be formulated, may as well ensure prevention of such struggles in the future either through the instrument of political process or constitutional amendment or dialogue, as necessary.

The writer, a Nepali native, is pursuing MSc Mass Communication at Institute of Communication Studies, University of The Punjab, Lahore

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 26 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains stable against US dollar in the open market on February 26, 2024 (Monday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.5 for buying and 282.55 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 302 for buying and 305 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 352.5 for buying, and 356 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.1 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.35.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 26 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.5 282.55
Euro EUR 302 305
UK Pound Sterling GBP 352.5 356
U.A.E Dirham AED 76.1 76.8
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.35 75.1
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 743.88 751.88
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.89 39.29
Danish Krone DKK 40.38 40.78
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.76 36.11
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.1 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 908.79 917.79
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.6 59.2
New Zealand Dollar NZD 171.68 173.68
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.43 26.73
Omani Riyal OMR 726.53 734.53
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.76 77.46
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 26.53 26.83
Swiss Franc CHF 317.87 320.37
Thai Bhat THB 7.79 7.94

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