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Govt. asks controversial Ambassador to return back; Thapa to become SAARC General Secretary

KATHMANDU: Few days after the Chairperson of the UCPN-Maoist Pushpa Kamal Dahal has asked controversial ambassador to Qatar Maya Kumari Sharma, the government on Thursday decided to call her back three years ahead of her tenure.

Thursday’s meeting of the Cabinet decided to call her back amid protests from Nepalis living in Qatar to call back the ambassador, who allegedly failed to promote welfare of Nepali migrant workers in Qatar. Sharma was appointed Nepali ambassador to Qatar on 9 May 2012 for four years’ term under the quota of UCPN-Maoist. She holds Ph.D. and Masters Degree in economics from Kumaun University, Nainital, Uttarakhand in India and is a permanent resident of Kanchanpur district in far-west Nepal.

Earlier, Dahal telephoned Sharma himself and requested her to return but Sharma informed that she could not resign from the post at the request of Dahal as she is no more the cadre of Maoist party rather an employee of the Government of Nepal. Sharma landed into controversy, as she termed Qatar an ‘open jail’ going beyond the diplomatic protocols she had to maintain. Similarly, her rude behavior to Nepali migrant workers also came under sharp criticism. The Qatari government had taken strong exception to her statement.

Qatar is the major destination for Nepali foreign job seekers and the embassy has important role to play for protecting the interest of Nepali foreign job-seekers but the Embassy failed to play such role during the tenure of Sharma.

Similarly, today’s cabinet meeting decided to make arrangements for financial aid to cash-strapped Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) for smooth supply of petroleum products. The government has decided to recommend Citizen Investment Trust (CIT) and Employees Provident Fund to release a loan of Rs 1 billion each for the NOC to clear outstanding due of the corporation. Recently the Commission of Investigation of Abuse of Authority (CIAA) arrested top officials of NOC for distributing bonus to the officials of the corporation while the corporation is incurring loss.

The Indian Oil Corporation has been cutting on the supply of fuel to NOC after the country failed to clear the due amounts.

Likewise, the government has decided to appoint Foreign Secretary Arjun Bahadur Thapa as the Secretary General of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). There is a provision to nominate SAARC Secretary General on rotational basis from eight countries. The cabinet meeting also decided to transfer some joint secretaries.

For Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-ve) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point

For Indian tourists travelling by land:- 72 hours (-ve) C-19 report, CCMC form and Antigen Test at entry point

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