Leaders object to King’s participation in SAARC

Kathmandu, November 6:

Nepali Congress general secretary Ram Chandra Poudel today said King’s participation in the 13th South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Summit as a head

of the government is objectionable and it is against the spirit of the 1990 constitution.

The summit is to begin in Dhaka of Bangladesh from November 12-13.

“The King’s participation in the summit as a head of government is objectionable and against the spirit of the constitution as he has exercised the authority not guaranteed by the constitution,” Poudel said speaking at the Reporters’ Club.

Janamorcha Nepal president Amik Sherchan also echoed that the King has no constitutional rights to take part in the summit as the head of the government.

He informed that the agitating parties were holding bilateral talks with the Maoists and

a joint talks would be held and its “results would be made public soon”.

The NC general secretary ruled out dialogue with the King. “Why should the parties hold talks with the King when we are familiar with his intention?” he questioned.

Commenting on the US Embassy’s Friday’s statement that cautioned the parties not to make an alliance with the Maoists, Poudel said there is a “lack of understanding” on the part of the embassy about the seven-party alliance’s stance.

“There is no reason for the US Embassy to get alarmed when the parties hold talks with the Maoists,” he said.

He further added that the parties were holding talks with the Maoists putting the people’s rights and the country’s sovereignty on top priority.

“Holding talks with the Maoists does not mean that the democratic forces would join the Maoist outfit and raise arms along with them,” adding that the King must accept the conclusions drawn out from the talks between the parties and the Maoists.

Central committee member of the CPN-UML Shankar Pokharel said the seven-party alliance was holding talks with the Maoists in order to get them into the alliance’s agenda.

He warned that the Maoists would break the ceasefire and return to violence if the alliance failed to move ahead talks with them positively.

General secretary of the Rastriya Prajatantra Party Dipak Bohara, however, laid emphasis on holding dialogue with the King which could lead a solution to the Maoist problem. He also said that a neutral government should be formed to conduct elections.

Hridayesh Tripathi of the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (Anandi Devi) said he was not surprised by the US Embassy’s statement, which, he said, was interpreted by the parties and the state on their own convenience.