Ailing Gachhadar skips key Saarc meet
KATHMANDU, SEP 24 - Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Bijaya Kumar Gachhadar has skipped the fifth Saarc Home and Interior Ministerial Meeting going to be held in the Maldives on Wednesday.
In absence of the home minister, Home Secretary Nabin Kumar Ghimire is leading the Nepali delegation comprising senior officials of the ministries of Home and Foreign Affairs. Home and Interior Ministers of the Saarc member states, other than Nepal, are attending the meeting.
Nepal did not take part in the fourth Saarc Home and Interior Ministerial Meeting meeting last year in Bhutan. "The continuous absence of Nepal's home minister in such a key ministerial meeting does not convey a good message. Nepal yet again is missing an opportunity to interact with neighbouring leaders in the regional a platform," said a source asking not to be named.
The source said that Gachhadar is not well over the past few days and has been taking rest due to a spinal related problem. The recent political development inside the country also demands his time at home so he has decided not to attend the meeting, the source said.
Gachhadar is reportedly suffering from back pain too and has been skipping long-hour meetings even in Kathmandu.
When requested to attend the meeting, he had allegedly told the Home Ministry officials that he may not travel a long distance due to the back pain as it takes more than seven hours to reach Male via Bangkok.
The meeting, which has already kicked off in Male, will discuss steps taken by the member states in implementing the Saarc Regional Convention on Suppression of Terrorism and its Additional Protocol, the Saarc Convention on Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances, the Saarc Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution and the Saarc Convention on Regional Arrangement for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia.
For the first time in the Saarc history, matters related to maritime security and piracy will be discussed among the member states this time.
Posted on: 2012-09-24 01:00