Ex-Army chief urges rethink on aid cut

Himalayan News Service

Kathmandu, February 26:

Former chief of the army staff and member of the Rajparishad Standing Committee, Sachit Shumsher Rana, today said that the neighbours and international community should realise the fact that Nepal is committed to strengthening a democracy that is not confined to the vested interests of political leaders.

“Democracy still prevails in the country and we have never said that we do not want democracy,” Rana said, adding the world should realise the fact that Nepalis want a “consolidated and disciplined” democracy, not an “undisciplined” democracy that is confined to the vested interests of political leaders who stay mostly in the capital instead of tending to their constituencies.

“Let us tell them (neighbours) the fact that Nepalis want a ‘consolidated and disciplined’ and pro-people democracy,” Rana reiterated while ruing the decision of some countries who have announced a stop to military assistance.

He was speaking at a programme organised by the Forum for Intellectual Debate.

“We cannot lose our country by listening to what others say,” Rana said adding: “Let’s emphasise on the reality,” he said, adding, “And the reality is that we do not want our country to become a failed state.”

Rana came down heavily on the political leaders for stationing themselves in Kathmandu rather than visiting their constituencies.

“What can the people expecting from leaders who go to their constituencies during elections only?” he asked, and criticised criticising them for “encouraging students to destroy public property” just to fulfil their vested interests in the name of democracy.

“That is not all,” he said citing the “intensive political intervention” in bureaucracy. “They (political leaders) did not spare even the bureaucracy,” he said.

Chairman of the Raj Parishad Standing Committee Parsu Narayan Chaudary denied “any change in the system” after the February 1 Royal proclamation.

“It has not wrought any changes in the system, but has definitely brought changes for the better in the situation,” Chaudary said, claiming that the current situation has created an environment to eliminate corruption and bad governance.

It is high time, Chaudary urged every section of the society, that people think of what “we can give to the country, and not expect the country to give anything to us.”

Member of the Rajparishad, Shreedhar Shumsher Rana, flayed the political parties for lusting after power rather than consolidating democracy.

Criticising political leaders for doubting the King’s commitment to democracy, president of the Biswo Hindu Mahasangh, Bharat Keshar Singh, said since the political parties failed to come to a common understanding despite the King’s repeated promises of commitment to democracy and constitutional monarchy, they should have no room for complaint anymore.