GPK's 'last wish': Peace, statute

KATHMANDU: Girija Prasad Koirala, the ailing leader of the Nepali Congress, today said that his only wish at the final stage of life was to see peace and stability established in the country.

Koirala, 86, whose health is deteriorating after he was taken ill a week ago, made this statement, while talking to the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, B Lynn Pascoe, at his residence in Maharajgunj this afternoon.

His health is not critical but is poor, said attending doctor Arjun Karki. He is suffering from COPD, which is a kind of respiratory problem, the doctor told the media. His old problem of lungs and other problems, poor working capacity of his lungs and his old age are the causes for his deteriorating health, attending doctors said. The level of oxygen has been increased and he is being given oxygen all the time except while eating and going to the toilet.

"He wished that his only interest at the final stage of life was promulgation of the new constitution, completion of the peace process on time and establishment of sustainable peace in the country," according to NC leader Krishna Prasad Sitaula, who was present during the meeting with the envoy.

"We have been making attempts to forge consensus for establishing peace and stability and my friends are supporting me for that although I ill," Koirala added during the seven-minute meeting with the UN envoy.

Pascoe, who arrived in Nepal today on his three-day visit, had reached Koirala's residence directly from the Tribhuvan International Airport.

On learning about Koirala's deteriorating health, NC leaders and cadres had reached Koirala's residence. Only senior leaders were permitted to meet Koirala as per the advice of his physicians.

Earlier, this morning, a meeting of Koirala's doctors decided that there was no immediate need to take him abroad for treatment. He was about to be flown to India after he felt uneasy yesterday. His doctors Mana Bahadur KC, Arjun Karki and Jagadish Agrawal are regularly following up his health.

Koirala's health deteriorated this week, according to family sources. Decision will be taken on whether to take him abroad or not after his daughter and Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala returns from a Europe tour tomorrow.

Octogenarian Koirala was taken to Singapore by an air ambulance for treatment at Gleneagles Hospital in November. He had undergone treatment there from November 14 to 22, 2009. He is facing health problems for the past four years. The NC postponed its Central Committee (CC) meeting slated for today due to the deteriorating health of Koirala.

Meanwhile, NC, in a press statement, said Koirala's health was stable now. The statement signed by chief secretary Ram Chandra Pokharel said that party supporters and sympathisers from across the country were deeply concerned about his health.

The statement added that the party was unable to hold its 12th general convention, which was scheduled to be held from March 10 to 14, 2010 due to incomplete preparatory works.