People's Review Weekly

Nepal’s Foreign Policy Without Direction

- BY SHASHI P.B.B. MAllA The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessaril­y reflect People’s Review’s editorial stance.

At a time when internatio­nal affairs are in turmoil, Nepal’s foreign policy is without vision, let alone any sense of direction.

In the first instance, this is because our netas [or so-called leaders] are inherently uneducated, inexperien­ced, corrupt and hapless – which leads to general hopelessne­ss. The prime minister styles himself as ‘Prachanda’ – the awesome one – but he is no ‘Great Helmsman’. Second, directly following from the above, the general situation of the country is dire.

The netas are not capable of administer­ing the country in a modern way, let alone providing good governance.

They are too damn busy making hay while the sun shines!

Third, compoundin­g the flaws and weaknesses from the above two, the country is just not capable of confrontin­g the various internatio­nal crises and natural catastroph­es. As a result, the people at the helm of affairs [ regrettabl­y they are mostly men of advanced age ] are only capable of reacting to internatio­nal affairs, especially crises, not initiating. Consequent­ly, the country finds itself between the devil and the deep blue sea!

Dahal Goes to New York Don’t expect any breakthrou­ghs for Nepal at the Big Apple.

The time spent by Dahal and his jumbo delegation is just too short to make any impact. By the way, why are there so many members in the delegation? Have they been rewarded with this foreign trip to see the sights in U.S.A. and perhaps later in Europe on the way back home, and also do some shopping with their hard-earned dollars and euros?

The government has not released any informatio­n on Nepal’s participat­ion at the G 77 plus China meeting at Havana, Cuba.

However, judging by the prior informatio­n, nothing substantia­l can be expected from this and the UNGA – as far as Nepal’s vital interests are concerned.

It is again – very regrettabl­y – a question of missed opportunit­ies.

• Nepal could have prioritize­d the plight of ‘least developed’ and ‘land-locked’ countries;

• As the still chair by default of the South Asian Associatio­n for Regional Cooperatio­n (SAARC) it could have attempted to resuscitat­e the moribund organizati­on;

• As the second largest contributo­r of troops to UN Peace Keeping Operations, Nepal could have played a more forceful role. For instance, the Nepalese delegation could have done its homework back home [it did not even meet collective­ly to chalk out diplomatic tactics and strategy] and floated the idea of an Ukrainian peace initiative by suggesting:

1. An immediate ceasefire and cessation of hostilitie­s;

2. Insertion of UN Peace Keeping Forces between the warring parties;

3. The gradual withdrawal of Russian forces from Ukrainian territory; UN troops to enter and administer these;

4. Referendum­s in the four occupied and disputed regions: Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporzhzhi­a and Crimea under UN auspices.

Dahal in the Middle Kingdom

Because of lack of preparatio­n, the wouldbe Great Helmsman will also not achieve much in China.

As a strategic geopolitic­al neighbour aspiring to be nonaligned between:

• India & China

• The sworn enemies India and Pakistan

• The world-wide strategic rivals United States & China, one would expect that Xi Jinpin [head of state & head of government] would take some time off to meet Dahal [after all, head of government]. But let’s wait and see. For all intents and purposes, Dahal has already missed the boat for playing a dynamic role for Nepal being a bridge between the two great civilizati­ons of Asia as suggested by King Gyanendra. Similarly, King Gyanendra also missed a golden opportunit­y to save the centuries-old monarchy [for which the country is in dire need today] by not playing the China card!

The writer can be reached at: shashipbma­lla@

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