Experts call for implementing past decisions

  • Saarc summit
- POST REPORT, Kathmandu

Nov 15, 2014-

Foreign policy experts have suggested the Saarc Summit should focus on implementing the past declarations instead of making new decisions. Speaking at a programme at the Reporters Club on Saturday, Dinesh Bhattarai, foreign affairs advisor to the prime minister, said that Saarc preparations which were at its final stages would create an environment conducive to establishing trust among the participant nations and address contentious issues of the region.

Bilateral talks to be held on the margins of the summit will focus on pending issues from the past summits, according to Bhattarai. He added that the issue of Bhutanese refugees will also be addressed during bilateral talks with the Bhutanese prime minister.

Nepali Congress foreign department head and former deputy prime minister Sujata Koirala stressed on the need to end mistrust among nations and utilise the platform and carry forward a common agenda for the regional prosperity.   

Koirala emphasised on the need to focus on poverty alleviation as it was the means to ending a wide array of problems- from human trafficking to other forms of  crimes. With Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reiterating the need to focus on regional development, she said there were high hopes that India would take the lead in poverty eradication.

Foreign policy expert Dr Nischal Nath Pandey pointed out the need to revamp the implementation process.  While respective governments are at the helm of European Union and Asean, Saarc programmes are implemented through bureaucracy which is a problem, Pandey explained, calling for an amendment to the charter itself. “The Saarc logo itself needs to be changed as there are now eight member states,” he pointed out.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman of the Nepal-Indian Friendship Federation Chandra Chaudhary underlined the need for unity among the nations to carry forward the agenda of development.

A total of 350 VIPs and senior officials from eight member states and nine observer countries will participate in the regional meet from November 22-27.

Confusion persists over Modi speech

Foreign Affairs Advisor to the prime minister Dinesh Bhattarai said that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi would address a public gathering during his visit to Janakpur.

He said that Modi would be speaking after a civic reception, clarifying that the government did not say he would not be allowed to address the public.

There has been conflicting reports on the issue. On Thursday, Deputy Prime Minister and Home Minister Bamdev Gautam had briefed the State Affairs Committee of Parliament that Modi would be given a public reception but had ruled out public address whatsoever. But Minister for Physical Infrastructure and Transport Management Bimalendra Nidhi on Friday insisted that the Indian PM would address local leaders.

“How the address will take place is decided at the local level where the event is taking place,” said Bhattarai.

Published: 16-11-2014 09:12

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