CIA Director goes back home mid-way as Nepal government declines permission to land here

Kathmandu- The  Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, US Intelligence Chief who was en route to Nepal via Sri Lanka anticipating a smooth arrival to the destination, last week had to head back home after the Nepal government declined permission, something perhaps not anticipated by the US.

The unusual but firm decision in negative was conveyed to the US Embassy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs saying it may not be an ‘opportune’ time for the visit in view of impending presidential elections.

The Embassy had sought permission for the visit of Director William Burns, with about two dozen members in his entourage, in their special boeings, along with their vehicle, and other equipment to be sent directory to the embassy here without normal screening. The three aircraft were to be stationed for nearly 18 hours from 6.30 PM of Feb 15.

The US side that was hopeful of the permission being granted was conveyed government’s negative response after Prime Minister informally discussed the issue with senior cabinet minister besides a couple of senior officials in the foreign minister along with the minister in charge. Nepal had entertained the Chief of India’s Intelligence, Samant Goel by the KP Oli government and the country has been an open destination for senior sleuths from India and China, without approval of the government.

A Senior minister told Deshsanchar that approval of such a visit sought in that manner would have been ‘detrimental to our sovereign interest, and we urged the Prime minister not to accept or approve it. He acted accordingly. The Minister also said that the government would be reviewing the protocol for such visits and their meetings with senior authorities without keeping the government in picture.