Word on nine-point pact mere lip service?

Kathmandu, December 29:

Despite Home Minister’s assurance that the government would initiate instructing local administration to implement the NC-backed nine-point commitment from today, no progress on the same was seen in this regard.

Asked whether Home Ministry had instructed concerned District Administration Offices to implement yesterday’s cabinet decision, Navin Ghimire, the ministry spokesperson said, “We have not received the cabinet decision yet. No instructions regarding that have been issued till now.”

Home Minister Bam Dev Gautam, emerging from yesterday’s cabinet meeting, had said, “The government will instruct the DAOs to implement the nine-point pact from tomorrow.” The cabinet meeting had approved the nine-point agreement between the Prime Minister and Nepali Congress one-and-a-half months ago. The agreement includes returning seized property and vacating public buildings and places occupied by the Young Communist League.

Revealing the activities of eight ministries to the press at Ministry of Information and Communications, he said the ministry was working on a comprehensive national security policy. Ghimire said the ministry was preparing to issue electronic passes to the visitors of Singha Durbar. “The passes will be of 19 categories. The visitor who receives the pass of a certain category will be permitted only to the directed places in Singha Durbar,” he said. He said the ministry was preparing to revise the criteria applicable to the police officials who go on a UN peace-keeping mission.

Surendra Pradhan, spokesperson for the foreign ministry, said over four lakh Nepalis, who are living in Malaysia unofficially, were suffering hardship. “The ministry is working to establish a consular’s office in Malaysia to resolve the problems facing Nepali workers,” he said. He said Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav would possibly be visiting Malaysia in February for the purpose.

Pradhan said the ministry had recalled two ambassadors — Suresh Chalise from America and Durgesh Man Singh from India. “Chalise has already returned while Singh will be back by the first week of January.” He said the ministry had initiated efforts to establish embassies in three countries — Kuwait, Canada and South Africa. Gorakh Bahadur Singh, spokesperson for Ministry of Youth and Sports, said the ministry would be organising Presidential Cup National Tournament instead of Birendra Cup National Tournament in all 75 districts in the near future. He said the government was preparing to set up youth information centres in 50 districts.

Hari Kumar Shrestha, spokesperson for Ministry of Peace and Reconstruction, said the ministry was planning to table a bill called ‘Person Disappearance (Crime and Action)’ before the parliament soon. He said 400 programmes to reconstruct the physical infrastructure demolished during the conflict were underway.

Shrestha added the ministry had collected 13,490 names of those killed during the decade-long conflict.

Tirtha Khanal, assistant spokesperson for Ministry of Labour and Transportation, said 518 women, who were arrested for attempted entry to Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq illegally, were languishing in Indian jails.