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Nepal's former PMs under criticism for breaching protocol


20:59, July 11, 2013

KATHMANDU, July 11 (Xinhua) -- Nepal's six former prime ministers have faced criticism from different sectors for ignoring country's diplomatic code of conduct and protocol as they went to hotel to meet Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.

On Tuesday, former prime ministers Baburam Bhattarai, Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachanda, Sher Bahadur Deuba, Surya Bahadur Thapa, Jhala Nath Khanal and Lokendra Bahadur Chand reached a hotel at Kathmandu and met visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Khurshid separately.

Nepali Media have reported that such meeting is a serious violation of protocol as former prime ministers went to hotel to meet him. "Leaders should have called the Indian Minister at their residence to meet instead of going to hotel which is a serious protocol violation because former ministers hold top position than a foreign minister," an official at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs told Xinhua with the condition of anonymity. The previous government led by Baburam Bhattarai had introduced a new code of conduct that bars former prime ministers to meet foreign guests at hotel who are below than their protocol. The official said former prime ministers also did not take consent from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before meeting, which is a must according to diplomatic code of conduct.

Similarly, local media have produced news and views lambasting the former prime ministers for violating diplomatic code of conduct and breaching protocol.

Kantipur Daily, Nepal's largest selling vernacular daily has published an editorial on Thursday saying that former prime ministers' meeting with Indian Minister is a diplomatic shame for the country. "Our prime ministers meeting with Indian foreign minister has hurt the people and it has bowed their head. It is an evident that our diplomatic norm is fast eroding," the editorial says.

Similarly, there are many articles, letters to editor and interviews in the Nepali Media that slams the former prime ministers.

Khurshid himself told the reporters that he had not invited the leaders to meet him but leaders themselves spontaneously went to meet him.

Many perceive that Nepali leaders should abandon the tendency of bowing their head to low-ranking Indian officials.

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