‘On citizenship, NC should stick to provisions of 2007 statute’

Kathmandu, August 30

Leader of Nepali Congress Shekhar Koirala today said NC should stick to the provisions of the Interim Constitution of Nepal-2007 on issues of citizenship. Koirala made the remark in the Central Working Committee of the party today.

He said there should be no discrimination on matter of citizenship. “Shouldn’t there be equal right to citizenship for all? When should foreign women and men married to Nepali nationals get naturalised citizenship? Should the government not issue citizenship on the basis of mother’s nationality? How can equal right to citizenship adversely affect our national security?” he asked.

Koirala said number of foreign women married to Nepali men until last year was 400,000.

“If we look at Home Ministry’s report, in 2008 the government issued citizenship certificates to 2.6 million people, of which 1.3 million people in the mountain and hill and 1.2 million people in the Tarai-Madhesareas obtained citizenship certificate by descent. As many as 170,000 people obtained citizenship by birth. Provisions of the interim constitution should be followed on the issue of citzenship,” he argued.

He said the issue of Hindu Rastra (nation) will be strongly raised in the next general convention of the party. “We need to be sensitive on issues of religion. Is it wrong to oppose slaughter of cows?” he asked.

Koirala said although the government during an all-party meeting held recently said there were threats to federalism, secularism and inclusiveness from former king and Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal, in fact, those in the  government were  posing  threats  to these elements.

Koirala said the government was misleading public and yet his party was unable to expose its lies.

He said people’s faith in the judiciary had eroded as a result of which people were demanding justice from the streets.