Diplomatic Correspondent

Repression resulted in loss of lives

NEW DELHI: Leading South Asians on Saturday called for meaningful talks in Nepal to end violence and "repressive action" by the state, which had resulted in the loss of lives and liberty of countless innocent Nepalese.

"We, the friends of the people of Nepal from the neighbouring SAARC countries, express our solidarity and support for the courageous and freedom-loving people of Nepal as they strive, through sacrifice and suffering, to realise democracy, the rule of law, human rights ... and social justice," a statement said.

"We believe that neither violence nor repression can resolve the current crisis.

Meaningful talks

It is only a just political settlement responsive to the legitimate demands of the people arrived at through meaningful talks that can contribute towards resolving the crisis and pave the way for peace and democracy in Nepal," it said.

The former Indian Prime Minister, Inder Kumar Gujral, ex-Bangladesh Foreign Minister Kamal Hussain and former Maldivian Foreign Minister I.H. Zaki were among the signatories to the statement.