WORLD : India Cuts Nepal Off From World

<i> From Times wire service</i> s

Nepal’s lifelines were almost completely cut today as India closed vital routes between the landlocked Himalayan nation and the rest of the world as part of a trade dispute.

Trade and transit treaties between the countries expired Thursday with negotiations for renewal at an impasse. India, which blames Katmandu for the problem, today closed all but two of the 13 transit routes on their common border, Nepali officials said.

Mountainous Nepal, sandwiched between India and China, relies on India for almost half its total imports and most essential commodities. Although Katmandu has said there are comfortable reserves of essential commodities, rationing of kerosene and other basics has already begun.