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PUSHPARAJ-PRADHAN

War like relations

By PR Pradhan – Ultimately, Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has reached to a conclusion that India is the number one enemy for the government he leads. So far, he had made different efforts to improve his relations with India to extend his tenure as the PM. In his latest effort, Oli, by undermining diplomatic protocol, had invited the Indian envoy for a dinner at a hotel. There also, he had asked the diplomat to support the government headed by him. As per the wish of PM, his confidante, President Vidya Bhandari was scheduled to visit India with the aim of improving Oli’s relations with India. In fact, President Bhandari wished to visit India as her first foreign sojourn by following the Nepali tradition of making India the first destination to visit after assuming the top post. The visit was set as per the desire of President Bhandari and the Nepal government. India had also prepared for the visit. Bhandari, as per the schedule, was to leave on Monday (9 May) for Delhi. Unfortunately, Bhandari’s visit to India has been cancelled at the last hour not because of Bhandari but because of the changed mood of PM Oli.
So far, Oli has been able to extend his tenure until the presentation of the budget for the new fiscal year. He had to ink nine-point agreement with UCPNM chair Pushpakamal Dahal to retain power. It is believed that within three month, Oli will have to handover the power to Dahal as per the nine-point agreement.
When PM Oli came to know that India, following the policy of micromanagement in Nepal, had wished to keep UML in the Opposition by developing new political alliance among NC, UCPNM and other small parties in the parliament, tactically, Oli wished to surrender to Dahal and enabled him to convince Dahal from the move of ending his party’s alliance with the UML for the time being. Oli was able to convince Dahal that he would handover power to him after presentation of the budget. Earlier, Oli was saying that his government would continue until conducting elections i.e. a total of two years will be the tenure of the government led by him.
After Deuba’s visit to Delhi, the political scenario suddenly changed. The Indians wanted to topple the seven-month old Oli led government. When India treated to PM Oli like an enemy, he took prompt decision to cancel the visit of the President at the last hours. Furthermore, he took another decision to recall Nepal’s ambassador to India, Deep Kumar Upadhaya. This is a message from Oli to India that how angry he was with Delhi! The government has alleged that our envoy to Delhi was involved in the conspiracy to topple the government. It seems, PM Oli is beyond control and he has not even thought about the impact of his decision on the existing Nepal-India relations. One thing is clear that if Oli becomes angry, he can do anything. Perhaps, on this ground, one Online portal “DainikNepal.com” reported that Oli is consulting with his close aides for making persona non-grata against Indian envoy, Ranjit Rae. Whether this information comes true or not, but if this will happen, it will be very shocking decision for Delhi. No doubt, the Indian envoy is much active in politics here. He has violated diplomatic norms every time. If his activities in recent days are monitored, he was found holding a breakfast meeting with the Madheshi leaders in agitation. He had asked the Madheshi leaders about fresh information on the scheduled Madheshi agitation. He was active in toppling the Oli government and meeting political leaders with this purpose.
What Delhi had felt is that all the leaders here are puppets of Delhi as Delhi has made huge investments on them. After the efforts of Delhi, the 12-point agreement was endorsed and this introduced the Indian brand “loktantra”. However, things didn’t go as per the Indian plan as the leaders started to run behind the Euros and imposed the constitution as per the wishes of the Europeans. When the leaders started to disobey the Indian orders, then the Indians became angry with the leaders, whom, Delhi had considered as its puppet. All of a sudden Delhi imposed economic blockade on Nepal for more than five months. Even though, Delhi has become unsuccessful to amend the constitution as per the interests of India. This has strongly hurt the Indian leaders, bureaucrats in the South Block and the Indian intelligence agencies.
During the “state” visit of PM Oli to India, Delhi offered a high-profile hospitality to Oli, but in the end she denied to issue a joint statement. Delhi was stressing on amendment of the constitution. The government has already amended the constitution by fulfilling some of the interests of India but Delhi is not satisfied with that. The rest of the demands that came from the mouth of the Madheshi parties in agitation – two provinces in tarai districts by including all the tarai districts and naturalized citizenship with all rights to those who get married to the Nepali citizens – that too have to be fulfilled by the government by amending the constitution. This is the Indian bottom-line.
It is not odd that the political leaders took Indian support to make a success of the 2006 April uprising. Now, India is trying to return its investment along with interest.
The present tussle between the Oli government and India is just the issue of whether the Nepali leaders should return the Indian investment along with interest or not.
Be that as it may, this is a good lesson for India that its investment in destabilizing Nepal is counter-productive for India itself. Also, India should understand that any kind of intervention in Nepal is not acceptable for the Nepali people of the 21st century. We know that India is the country which had termed the Naxalite force as a terrorist element, whereas, the very Indians empowered the Maoist force in the government here. The present Left alliance has become a headache for India herself. Surely, Nepal has been destroyed and this peaceful country has been converted into a playground of foreign powers since dethronement of the institution of monarchy, which can be a serious security threat for our immediate neighbours.
In the meantime, the present childish diplomacy of PM Oli against India is also unjustifiable. Such diplomacy can be witnessed only during a war period.