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Nepal frees detained Indian security personnel

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New Delhi/Kathmandu, Nov 29: Nepal has freed two Indian security personnel who were detained after they entered the Himalayan nation while chasing smugglers on Sunday, a senior official said.

The Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) official said a patrolling party of 13 men was after smugglers near the India-Nepal border when constables Roshan and Ram Prasad mistakenly entered Nepal in foggy weather.

Both were detained by authorities there. Nepalese media earlier reported that 13 SSB personnel were detained.

Both SSB personnel were released in the afternoon, and they have returned to Indian territory, the official told IANS.

The Kathmandu Post Times reported earlier that the Nepal Armed Police Force (APF) detained 13 SSB men at Kechana in Jhapa after they entered Nepal while chasing oil smugglers.

They were kept at an APF camp in Kechana, it said.

Jhapa Chief District Officer Tej Prasad Poudel said they were trying to ascertain if the SSB personnel mistakenly entered Nepal.

Residents were quoted as saying that the detained SSB personnel had thrashed a Nepali, Mohammad Alam, while searching his home for smugglers. Four of the 13 SSB personnel had weapons, the report said.

The APF team reached Alam’s house and detained the Indians.

The SSB personnel reportedly entered Nepal by crossing the no man’s land from Kechana, the media reports said.

Smuggling of petrol and diesel has become rampant on the India-Nepal border ever since protests in Madhesi populated areas since September has effectively led to a blockade of the border.

Meanwhile, an Indian number plate bearing jeep was vandalized at Kanchanpur in Nepal, a media report said. Five Maoist cadres were detained following the incident, The Kathmandu Post said.

Police escorted the vandalized jeep across the border into India.

(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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