Oli calls National Security Council meetingThe meeting to discuss possible security scenarios after the Supreme Court’s verdict on House dissolution, sources say.
Prime Minister KP Oli has called a meeting of the National Security Council on Tuesday morning.
Though officials said that the meeting is a routine one, a member of the Council said that it will review the political situation of the country and likely to discuss possible security scenarios after the Supreme Court’s verdict on Oli’s decision to dissolve the lower house of Parliament.
It is widely expected that the Supreme Court will pass a verdict on Oli’s December 20 House dissolution within this week.
If the House dissolution is endorsed, the country would head for polls declared by Oli for April 30 and May 10. If the court overturns Oli’s decision, politis will return to the parliamentary process.
But in both cases, security agencies have sensed some kind of security threat from different elements, a top security official told the Post who wished to remain anonymous. The official refused to elaborate.
“Whatever the verdict will be, we have to strengthen the security situation,” said the official. “Basically the meeting will take stock of the ongoing and post-verdict situations and will instruct security agencies to remain alert.”
The National Security Council meeting is taking place just a day after the Chief of the Army Staff Purna Chandra Thapa met with Chief Justice Cholendra Shumsher Rana, stoking speculation if he was carrying some political message.
The National Security Council is a key body that takes various security-related decisions, including the mobilisation of the Army.
As per constitutional provisions, in case the government needs to mobilise the Army, a recommendation must be made by the National Security Council to the President.
Article 267 (6) of the Constitution of Nepal states: “The President shall, on recommendation of the National Security Council and pursuant to a decision of the Government of Nepal, Council of Ministers, declare the mobilisation of the Nepal Army in cases where a grave emergency arises in regard to the sovereignty or territorial integrity of Nepal or the security of any part thereof, by war, external aggression, armed rebellion or extreme economic disarray.”
As per the article, a declaration of the mobilisation of the Nepal Army must be ratified by the House of Representatives within one month after the date of such declaration.
The prime minister chairs the National Security Council while the ministers for defence, home, foreign and finance as well as the chief secretary and the Army chief are its members.
Prime Minister Oli himself has been looking after the defence portfolio since mid-October last year when he rejigged his Cabinet, removing Ishwar Pokhrel as defence minister.
A Cabinet meeting also has been scheduled on Tuesday.