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GP Koirala to attend SAARC meet

Leaders of Nepal’s four major political parties decided to allow the caretaker PM to take part in the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo, reports Anirban Roy.

world Updated: Jul 31, 2008 01:17 IST
Anirban Roy

Leaders of Nepal’s four major political parties decided on Wednesday to allow the caretaker prime minister to take part in the 15th SAARC Summit in Colombo after he apologised for not consulting them on his trip.

Koirala met top leaders of CPN-Maoists, his own party Nepali Congress, CPN-UML and Madhesi Peoples Rights Forum (MPRF), at his residence in Baluwatar on Wednesday.

“Only few days are left for the SAARC summit, and any form of adverse decision on the participation at the summit would have sent a wrong message to the other member countries,” senior CPN (UML) leader Amrit Kumar Bohara said.

Koirala is scheduled to leave Kathmandu on Thursday.

Initially, the political parties were strongly against Koirala’s participation at the SAARC Summit as he was a caretaker executive head of government.

They had insisted that president Ram Baran Yadav should represent the country.

The differences over Koirala’s participation had created a sense of uncertainty as the Summit would have been postponed. As per the SAARC charter, the Summit cannot take place if even one of the member states cannot attend.

The Sri Lankan government reportedly requested Nepal not to abstain as all the preparations have already been made.

Meanwhile, the Maoist lawmakers said that there has been no agreement on Koirala’s participation. Speaking at the Constituent Assembly, Maoist leader C.P. Gajurel said that his party wrote a strong note of decent at the meeting with Koirala, which was attended by Prachanda.

Gajurel, who is also the chief of Maoist’s international bureau, demanded that the government should scrap the decision of letting Koirala to participate at SAARC Summit.

Maoists invited to form govt

Trying to put an end to the ongoing political instability, President Ram Baran Yadav on Wednesday officially requested the Maoists to form a government of consensus. After meeting Yadav, along with Prachanda and other leaders at the Rashtrapati Bhawan, senior Maoist leader Krishna Bahadur Mahara told HT that the president requested them to form the government within a week.

VP’s apology ends Hindi row

In a major relief to Indian- origin Vice President Permananda Jha whose oath-taking in Hindi sparked violent protests, Nepalese student bodies withdrew their week-long nationwide agitation against him after the beleaguered Madhesi leader offered a public apology.