CrisisWatch Nepal

Unchanged Situation

Refugee scandal embroiled mainstream parties, while PM Pushpa Kamal Dahal undertook first visit to India since taking office.

Refugee scandal rocked major parties. Following arrests made by police, Kathmandu District Attorney’s Office 24 May filed charges against three senior politicians – former deputy PM, former home minister and former home secretary, all members of ruling Nepali Congress or opposition Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist) – and 27 others for their alleged involvement in issuing fraudulent documents to Nepali nationals to enter U.S. as Bhutanese refugees. Speculation grew that Nepali Congress may threaten to quit ruling coalition after it had reportedly unsuccessfully lobbied against arrests of senior officials.

PM Dahal visited India. In his first foreign visit since becoming PM, Pushpa Kamal Dahal 31 May arrived in India’s capital New Delhi for four-day state visit, signalling continued importance of bilateral ties. U.S. State Department’s 2022 Report on International Religious Freedom issued 15 May claimed that religious groups associated with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party had lobbied Nepali politicians in favour of restoring Hinduism as official state religion; Nepal’s foreign ministry 28 May sent “diplomatic note” to U.S. embassy regarding report.

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