December 8, 2022, Thursday
Nepal 1:37:26 pm

Deuba’s July US visit kicks up a row

The Nepal Weekly
June 14, 2022

CPN-UML’s Pradeep Kumar Gyawali has demanded that Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba immediately inform the House of Representatives about his impending visit to the USA. Speaking from the rostrum of the HoR Monday, he said the PM must clarify regarding his visit to the US.

A few days ago, CPN-Maoist Centre Chief Whip Dev Prasad Gurung had sought cancellation of the PM’s US visit. Gurung told the HoR that since the US had been trying to drag Nepal into its security alliance, particularly the Indo-pacific strategy, Nepal should stay away from such move. He said the USA had been trying to make Nepal its strategic partner under the garb of State Partnership programme.

 Gyawali said that the Deuba government had departed from the established tradition of consulting the main opposition on key issues. He urged the PM to clarify whether his impending visit would be a state or an official visit. “Is the PM going to sign any agreement (with the USA)?” Gyawali wondered.

He said neither the State Department of the USA nor the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Nepal was making any preparation for the PM’s visit. He said the US Defence Department was preparing for the PM’s visit. “I want to know whether the PM is paying this visit as the PM or defence minister?” he added. Deuba, who is likely to visit the USA in mid-July, also holds the defence portfolio.

Another UML leader, Khagaraj Adhikari, also demanded the government’s response on the 2.4 million anti-COVID vaccines that were not accounted for. “Why is the government not telling us about the 2.4 million vaccines that are unaccounted for?” he asked. Secretary at the Ministry of Health and Population Roshan Pokharel had earlier said that those vaccines were given to the public, but were not properly recorded by health officials.