Wednesday, February 02, 2005

FLASH: Bangladesh, Nepal unrest may again delay SAARC summit

+ According to sources, Nepal’s King Gyanendra’s decision to sack the government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and the declaration of state of emergency there could also cast shadow on the summit meeting. +


02/01/2005

Bangladesh, Nepal unrest may again delay SAARC summit

Islamabad – According to sources, Nepal’s King Gyanendra’s decision to sack the government of Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba and the declaration of state of emergency there could also cast shadow on the summit meeting.

However, Islamabad hopes that the summit meeting would take place as per its schedule. Acting Spokesman of the Foreign Office, Jalil Abbas Jilani said we are in contact with Kathmandu and it is hoped that they would nominate someone for representation in top level meeting of the regional body.

He said communication is yet to be established with Bangladeshi government but a decision, if taken, on the rescheduling of SAARC Summit would be only after consultations with all member states.

The SAARC Summit which was scheduled for last month was postponed because of Tsunami disaster that played havoc in South East Asia as well as in Sri Lanka and India, the two SAARC member states, killing well over 0.2 million people.

An official source also hinted at the dispatch of high-level security team to Bangladeshi capital ahead of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz’s visit on February 5 to review the law and order situation there.

Moreover, Pakistan’s High Commission in Dhaka would also send its report to Islamabad in this regard, he added.

Bangladesh’s Awami League, the major opposition party, had launched a series of protests after the January 27 grenade attack on their rally, which killed five people including a former finance minister, Shah Abu Mohammed Shamsul Kibria.

Former prime minister and Awami League chief Sheikh Hasina Wajid has announced a one-day strike tomorrow and a two-day strike on February 5 and 6 coinciding with the SAARC Summit.

However, Bangladeshi government has expressed its determination to go ahead with the SAARC Summit, saying it has taken all possible security measures to thwart any untoward incident during the meeting.

According to media reports, more than 20,000 security personnel, including the paramilitary Bangladesh Rifles (BDR), Rapid Action Battalion and the police, will be deployed in Dhaka during the summit.