An internationally acclaimed professor of international law has warned India may face ‘legal difficulty’ should Nepal choose to seek legal remedy against the Indian blockade on the landlocked nation.
Professor Surya Subedi from the University of Leeds, the former UN Rapporteur for Cambodia, says as India has violated Nepal’s right to transit facilities as guaranteed by international laws, the South Asian giant may face not only moral but also legal difficulties at international levels.
Speaking to Setopati, the professor further pointed out that the way the world’s largest democracy (which also happens to be the immediate neighbour) has treated Nepal will harm India’s image at the international level.
Government of Nepal claims its southern neighbour has placed an ‘undeclared blockade’ bringing the supply of daily essentials on the world’s youngest republic to a grinding halt. There are reports private vehicle-owners in the Himalayan nation will not be able to refill from tomorrow which is a clear indication of just how dire the situation is in Kathmandu.
India, on its part, blames the blockade on Nepal’s own internal political unrest due to which its freight forwarders are unable to operate because of security concerns.
“Nepal may take this issue to various international organisations as a result of which India may be faced with a huge legal difficulty,” the England-based barrister told the popular vernacular online media.
Referring to the internationally-accepted norm which guarantees unhindered transit to a landlocked nation so that it can access sea ports, the veteran legal exert pointed out that India is a member of the World Trade Organisation and so is Nepal.
Mr Subedi reiterated that India must abide by the international law which it signed as a democratic nation.
“A nation that does not practice the law it accepted cannot be called a democratic nation by international standards’, he was quoted as saying.
The professor confided that he would be willing to offer his legal expertise should Nepal government call on his help. “As a Nepalese, it would be a matter of pride and joy to be able to render legal assistance to the Government of Nepal during a time of need,” he said when asked if he would be ready to offer legal help to his country of origin.
In the mean time, Indian and Nepalese officials today met at a police station on the Nepalese side of the border and agreed to open Sunauli border point in western Nepal. Reports from local media suggest Indian security officers provided heavy escort to few trucks entering Nepal with LPG, oxygen cylinders and petrol.