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Sushma Swaraj calls for a faster constitution making process in Nepal

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Kathmandu: Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held talks with top leaders of major political parties here on Thursday and urged them to hasten the constitution making process.

The talks were held on the sidelines of the International Conference on Nepal’s Reconstruction, according to External Affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.

India has been supporting Nepal’s efforts at drafting the constitution since its constituent assembly was elected in 2013 and assured it all support.

Nepal has so far elected two Constituent Assemblies — in 2008 and 2013 — to prepare the so-far elusive document. The first constituent assembly folded up without any progress on the much-awaited statute, and now the second house is engaged in the task.

An interim constitution is guiding the lawmakers at present.

The logjam was cleared on June 8 when the four major political parties of Nepal inked a 16-point agreement to federate the country into eight federal provinces, thus paving the way for the promulgation of the new constitution.

Sushma Swaraj at the conference pledged $1 billion for Nepal’s reconstruction.

She met President Ram Baran Yadav, Prime Minister Sushil Koirala and other political leaders of Nepal during her two-day visit to Nepal.

(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