KATHMANDU: The Constituent Assembly Committee to Protect National Interests (CPNI) today incorporated inputs from the CA members offered during discussions on its concept paper.
As per the suggestions, the committee has revised its concept paper and its preliminary draft. A divergence from the earlier provision on compulsory conscription in the army, the revised concept paper states, “It shall be the duty of every citizen to voluntarily take part in the military training and serve the nation as and when required.”
The lawmakers, including the ones from the NC, the UML and some other parties, had opposed the idea of compulsory conscription, claiming that such a provision would encourage militarisation and adversely affect the national economy.
The concept paper has also stressed the need to safeguard the landlocked country’s right to access to sea under the UN Convention on the Law of Sea, 1982. Free access to the sea (transit right, facilities of free transportation and communication), equal treatment
in the port of transit country and the right to participate in international regime
are the key components of the UN convention on the Law of Sea. The paper suggested the government to take diplomatic overtures to ensure such rights to safeguard national interest.
Meanwhile, members of the Committee came down heavily on the newly appointed Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala for saying that there had been no encroachment of Nepali territory along the Nepal-India border.
UML’s Rabindra Adhikari, UCPN-M’s Pralhad Lamichhane and NC’s Dip Kumar Upadhyay and Kamala Pant suggested the government to resolve the issue through diplomatic means.
They also suggested that the parliamentary team should visit the border area in Dang and present its report to the Parliament. Home secretary Govinda Kusum has clarified that India had not encroached on the territory of Nepal.
Addressing the International Relation and Human Rights Committee of the parliament on Friday, Kusum said that a team from Home Ministry, Department of Survey, mediapersons and human right activists had inspected the site and found that Nepal’s territory had not been encroached upon.
“However, there is an urgency to curb crime on the border,” he added. Stating that the issue was blown out of proportion, he claimed that the pillars on the border had not been removed as reported in the media.
Likewise, Foreign Minister Sujata Koirala iterated that India had not encroached Nepal’s territory in Dang district. Talking to mediapersons after meeting Indian ambassador to Nepal Rakesh Sood in her residence, she said,
“The officials who returned after inspecting the site have reported that India has not encroached on Nepal’s territory.” Indian ambassador Sood claimed that some political parties were trying to mar the friendly ties between the two countries by spreading baseless rumours.