Tourism minister Bista returns home with head down

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Minister for Tourism and Civil Aviation Lokendra Bista, who was stuck at the Abu Dhabi International Airport while boarding the plane to Germany without visa, has returned home with clarifications for the debacle.

Minister Bista (file photo)

Responding to the media persons upon arrival at Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu Bista said that he was just stuck but not arrested as reported in the media here.

He said that a probe panel has been formed to find lapses and weaknesses regarding the visa issue.

Minister Magar had flown to Germany sans visa and the issue was revealed once the immigration officials at the Abu Dhabi International Airport in UAE checked his passport.

The probe panel formed to investigate into the visa row has commenced its work on Friday.

The probe panel led by Secretary at the Prime Minister´s Office (PMO) Leelamani Poudyal would interrogate different officials for their lapses and weaknesses regarding the visa issue. The panel has been provided with a week-long period.

Secretary at the Ministry of Tourism and Civil Aviation Dr Ganeshraj Joshi said officials issuing visa for visa note will be grilled in the first phase.

Similarly, ticket seller of Ittehad Airlines and officials of immigration office will be booked after investigation, Joshi added.

Secretary Joshi said mainly the government officials at the Minister Bista Magar´s Personal Secretariat were responsible behind the visa fiasco and they will face departmental action.

Minister Bista Magar was flying for Berlin, Germany, to attend a seminar on Visit Lumbini Year-2012 and Great Himalaya Trail and was stranded in Abu Dhabi for 48 hours on Tuesday over an issue of visa before flying to Germany.

Similarly, spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Arjun Bahadur Thapa said the issue had washed away the prestige of the nation, and added that the involved persons should be punished.

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