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Five killed in Nepal protest

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Kathmandu: At least five protesters were killed and many injured in Nepal’s southern plain on Tuesday during agitations against the proposed seven-province model in the Himalayan nation, taking the toll to 20 in two weeks. Nepal has been witnessing deadly clashes over the federalism model. Four protesters died during a violent clash in Birgunj of Parsa district on Tuesday. The toll in Birgunj rose to five, as another person was killed on Monday during a clash with police. Meanwhile, in Kalaiya, headquarters of Bara district, a person died and 17 were injured during a clash with security personnel on Tuesday.

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Hifajat Miyan, of Kalaiya-10 area, died after being hit by a bullet fired by police at protesters during the clash. The demonstrators took away Miyan’s body. Three protesters injured in clashes with police at Laxmanuwa Chok in Birgunj died during treatment. Dinanath Sah and Bhola Prasad Sah, who sustained bullet injuries during the clash, succumbed at the National Medical College Hospital, its in-charge Dililp Sah said. Another man named Sohan Kalwar died on the spot during a clash in Naguwa Chok, while the name of the fourth person killed in Birgunj on Tuesday was not immediately known. Around a dozen people including Madhesi Janadhikar Forum-Loktantrik (MJF-L) central member Ameri Lal Pal Raut were injured.

Meanwhile, the local administration declared Birgunj a riot-hit area. Police opened fire during a clash with protesters on Tuesday afternoon in Birgunj Sub-Metropolitan City-16. Cadres of the Samyukta Loktantrik Madhesi Morcha demonstrated in various parts in Birgunj, defying the indefinite curfew enforced by the administration since 4 p.m. on Monday. Police also fired at the protesters when they reached the District Development Committee office, leading to injuries to many people.

(IANS)

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Nepal, Pakistan agree to revitalise Saarc process

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for "greater peace, security and prosperity in the region"

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  • Nepal and Pakistan agreed to revitalise Saarc
  • This is done to promote greater peace and security
  • It will be apparently beneficial for both the nations

Nepal and Pakistan on Tuesday agreed to revitalise the Saarc process for “greater peace, security and prosperity in the region” during talks that visiting Pakistan Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi held with the Himalayan nation’s leadership.

Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons
Nepal and Pakistan to revitalise SAARC process. Wikimedia Commons

Abbasi on Tuesday met Nepal President Bidya Devi Bhandari and addressed a programme at the Saarc Secretariat here. He also held a meeting with CPN (Maoist Centre) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal “Prachanda” in the morning.

Bhandari and Abbasi hoped to reinvigorate the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) as an important regional organisation. The Pakistani leader said that “issues of the countries in the region should not affect the activities of Saarc and its performance”.

He emphasised the need to make Saarc “more effective” in the days ahead. Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation in all areas of mutual importance, including political, economic, defence and cultural fields.

On Monday evening, Abbasi met his Nepali counterpart K.P. Sharma Oli and both decided to revitalise the stalled Saarc process.

Also Read: India pulled out of SAARC meeting that is to be held in Pakistan

The Pakistani leader sought to host the 19th Saarc Summit of the regional grouping and asked Nepal to create a “favourable environment” for the same. The summit has been postponed since 2016 after a military attack on an Indian Army base in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir.

After the attack, India unilaterally suspended its participation from the summit. Several member states rallied behind India’s position.

Nepal is the current chair of the regional grouping. Oli’s chief political advisor Bishnu Rimal said “both leaders held a common view on taking the Saarc forum ahead as it was a common platform for all member countries and still significant”.

The step is taken to improve relationships between the two countries.

Addressing a function at the Saarc Secretariat in Kathmandu, Abbasi said peace, security and mutual friendship were essential for the prosperity of South Asia.

“Pakistan has undivided belief in the Saarc objectives, ideologies and principles,” he said, adding that Islamabad was fully committed to the Saarc charter.

Abbasi also announced doubling the scholarships provided to Nepal by the Pakistan government and proposed to set up a joint parliamentary panel between Kathmandu and Islamabad. IANS

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