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Curbing Terrorism, Restorating Peace And Democracy

Curbing Terrorism, Restorating Peace And Democracy

By M.R. JOSSE / report from Dhaka

Dhaka, 12 November: In a ringing and dignified address to the thirtheenth summit of the heads of state or government of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) here this morning, His Majesty King Gyanendra called on leaders of South Asia to "send a clear message that violence cannot be an instrument to further political objectives." To that end, the King of Nepal called upon SAARC member states "to forge a strong partnership to eliminate terrorism from the region as well as spearhead a coordinated and earnest action against it."

The Nepalese monarch's peroration, framed in well articulated, sonorous cadences, explained to a jam-packed glittering audience of South Asian dignitaries and diplomats that the February First step in Nepal was necessitated by "the failure of successive governments to contain ever-emboldening terrorists and maintain law and order."

Telling it like it is, he pointed out that "terrorism has metamorphed our world" and went on to remind his audience that, in Nepal, "the agents of terror are bent on overthrowing a constitutional order and replacing it with a rejected ideology of a one-party communist dictatorship."

The King rightly cautioned that "as terrorism knows no geographical boundary, terrorism in Nepal is certain to affect the whole of South Asia" if that beast is not tackled effectively and in time. Drawing out the nexus between terrorism in Nepal and the "global war on terrorism" the Nepalese monarch noted with dismay that it is "not matched by global action against it."

Elaborating, the King somberly noted that "the global war on terrorism has failed to reach every nook and corner of the world, especially in weak and vulnerable countries, as if they do not deserve justice and protection from terrorism." Then came this coup d'grace: "It is this double standard and selective approach that is assuming a dangerous character rather than terrorism itself." That is why, as far as Nepal is concerned, "we cannot make a distinction between good and bad terrorism; terrorism is terrorism."

His Majesty maintained that "the security situation is slowly but surely improving" in Nepal post-February 1 and disclosed that "the improved security situation has allowed us to announce a date for municipal elections" which, on completion, would "create an environment conducive to conducting general elections" for which the Election Commisson had been asked to make necessary preparation before April 2007.

In the broad canvas of the King's lofty address, various important areas specific to SAARC activities values and norms were touched upon. A number of general observations of great pith and moment were also sounded, including that "globalization in itself is not right or wrong; the impacts it creates on our way of life should be carefully analyzed."

Taking up the theme he first ariculated in Doha a few months ago, King Gyanendra explained that his proposal that Nepal serve as a transit point between India and China was "born out of our deep conviction that, in an era characterized by heightened competition to capture world markets and capital, increased trade and economic interaction between two up-coming economic zones, facilitated by transportation and communication links, would provide a level playing field for both our neighbours to reap benefits of a promising global economic order."

His Majesty called on South Asian leaders to rededicate themselves "to make SAARC an effective instrument of our shared destiny." He appropriately concluded his thoughtful address with this brilliant piece of widsom: "after all, thoughts lead on to purposes; purposes go forth in action; actions form habits; habits decide character; and character fixes our destiny."


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