PM calls for amending Saarc CharterAt a time when the fate of 19th Saarc Summit to be held in Islamabad hangs in the balance amid tensions between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday said that the Saarc Charter should be amended and called on the Saarc Secretariat, which is based in Kathmandu, for introducing reforms.
At a time when the fate of 19th Saarc Summit to be held in Islamabad hangs in the balance amid tensions between India and Pakistan, Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Thursday said that the Saarc Charter should be amended and called on the Saarc Secretariat, which is based in Kathmandu, for introducing reforms.
India’s announcement to pull out of the regional summit citing an increase in cross-border terrorist attacks, uncertainty looms over Saarc and the 19th conference scheduled for November in the Pakistani capital.
Speaking at a programme “Saarc Effectiveness” on Thursday in the Capital, PM Dahal also complained about the poor performance of the regional bloc compared to other regional groups.
Nepal is the current chair of Saarc. The status of the implementation of past agreements and understanding under Saarc have been “very poor”, said PM Dahal while calling for overall restructuring of the Saarc process.
“The overall process of Saarc over the last 30 years of its establishment has become too slow and the implementation of the past agreements and commitments is very poor,” he said. “South Asia has vast opportunities and it is endowed with abundant natural and human resources, and we have expertise in many sectors, but we are lagging behind in many fields as compared to other international organisations,” he added.
But PM Dahal neither mentioned nor made any statement about simmering tension between India and Pakistan.
After four member countries namely India, Bhutan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan pulled out of the Islamabad Summit, Nepal as the chair of Saarc has urged member countries to ensure that the conference is held on time.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Wednesday issued a statement calling the member states to create conducive environment for the 19th Saarc Summit.
“Nepal strongly urges that a conducive environment be created for the 19th SAARC Summit soon by ensuring the participation of all member states in line with the spirit of the Saarc Charter,” the statement said.
“The government of Nepal has received communications from the SAARC Secretariat transmitting the diplomatic notes from four Saarc member states namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan and India in which they have conveyed their inability to participate in the 19th Saarc summit scheduled for November 9 and 10 in Islamabad, stating that current regional environment is not conducive to the successful holding of the Summit. We have taken this development seriously,” it added.
Organised by the Labour and International Relations of Parliament, representatives from various Saarc nations are attending the two-day conference in the Capital to seek effectiveness of Saarc.
Dahal urges press to help implement constitution
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal has urged the press to help the government in the constitution implementation process.
“I would like to make an appeal to the press to play a positive role in bringing together all political parties for the constitution implementation,” said PM Dahal, also the chairman of the CPN (Maoist Centre), while inaugurating the first unity convention of the part-aligned Press Centre Nepal in the Capital on Thursday. “The press should play a positive role in case there is a risk of disintegration of national unity due to interests of any particular political party,” said PM Dahal.
Acknowledging the media’s role during various movements for democracy, PM Dahal also urged the press
to help the government conduct three levels of elections on time.
Also speaking on the occasion, Minister for Information and Communications Surendra Kumar Karki pledged to address the issues concerning working journalists. Calling on the media to disseminate fact-based news, Minister Karki also sought journalists’ role in the institutionalisation of achievements of democratic movements.
Federation of Nepali Journalists President Mahendra Bista said that issues related to the media should always be the priority of the government.