All Nepalis will get citizenship, says Oli


CPN-UML Chair KP Sharma Oli said children of Nepali citizens married to foreigners would get naturalised citizenship and there was no need to make a hue and cry about it.

Addressing an interaction organised by Progressive and Professional Lawyers’ Association (PPLA), Oli said there was need to differentiate between original Nepali and new Nepali. “I want to assure you that all Nepalis will get Nepali citizenship. The only thing is that new Nepalis will have to meet some requirements,” he said.

Oli said secularism and religious freedom were the same thing and had the draft constitution not mentioned secularism, it would have been all right.

He, however, said the state would treat all religions equally with the same respect. The new constitution, Oli argued, will be a forward looking document that will protect the rights of all castes and communities and will also offer solutions to the problems that the state may encounter tomorrow.

Oli said the 16-point agreement was sealed with the objective of managing the contradictions that led to the dissolution of the first Constituent Assembly. He said the second CA would deliver the new constitution, which would help restore peace, democracy, independence of judiciary and ensure social justice by ending all kinds of discrimination.

“We are a diverse community and we live in different geographical regions. Therefore we cannot have similar geography (in a federal set up),” Oli said. He said federalism should ensure prosperity and should also positively contribute to unity.

He said he disagreed with those who advocated ‘holding together ’and‘coming together’ federal model.

“None of these two models can fit our federalism for our country is made of mountains, hills and the plains,” he said hinting that federal units will have north-south divisions.

Unified CPN-Maoist leader Prabhu Sah said the lawyers’ community should give comprehensive suggestions on some major issues, including forms of governance, citizenship, language and the judiciary.

Sah said the ‘and’ provision related to citizenship would make many people stateless.

He said in a diverse country like ours, it would be an injustice to designate just one language as the official language. “Unity can be possible only when we can end discrimination,” he added.

Sah said Parliamentary form of governance might not give stability to the country.