CG Prez Chaudhary raises Nepal blockade issue at Commonwealth Forum

Kathmandu, November 26

President of Chaudhary Group (CG) and President Emeritus of Confederation of Nepalese Industries, Binod Chaudhary, has drawn the attention of the international community, stating that the ongoing blockade on Nepal will create extreme humanitarian crisis.

Addressing the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting 2015 in Malta today, Chaudhary said the country, already devastated by the earthquakes, has been pushed into an economic crisis by the ongoing blockade.

He was addressing on the topic of ‘Connecting Asia: Accelerating Regional Integration and Development’, as per a press statement.

CG President Chaudhary said the blockade has crippled daily lives of people and virtually shut down industries and businesses.

He stressed on liberal leadership for regional integration. “While talking about regional integration in South Asia, it will be possible only if the leading country India shows liberal attitude towards its neighbours,” Chaudhary said, as per the statement, making comparison with the European Union. “India should play a liberal role as Germany did during the European Union’s establishment.”

Chaudhary expressed concerns on landlocked country Nepal’s deprivation from free transport facility. The ongoing blockade on Nepal has created severe crisis of life-saving drugs, cooking gas, and fuel, he informed the international community.

Stating that Nepal has not received support from anywhere towards ending the blockade, Chaudhary said this situation has put the relevance and usefulness of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) under question.

“SAARC is known as the weakest regional organisation in the world. Despite occasional good initiatives and plans, the region has always lagged behind on regional integration and development due to mutual disagreements,” the statement quoted CG President Chaudhary as saying.

Stating that development of infrastructure is a precondition for the development of SAARC, which is home to 40 per cent of the world’s poor, he further said, “But due to mutual distrust and lack of cooperation, there hasn’t been any progress toward building infrastructure such as cross-country road networks, and institutions such as SAARC bank.”

Stressing on the need of transportation network for regional development and integration, Chaudhary said in lack of it the cost of production and distribution among SAARC nations is high. Development of inter-national road network and unrestricted access to transportation is inevitable for the region that is home to landlocked countries like Nepal and Bhutan.

Heads of nation, heads of government, and private sector leaders from around 80 countries are participating in the meeting. Although Nepal is not a Commonwealth country, Chaudhary was invited as a guest. The meeting is an important international forum in which the heads of nation and government discuss common challenges, new opportunities, and priorities.