By Prajwal Shrestha
Beijing is hosting OBOR (One Belt One Road) Summit in May. Nepal is also invited to attend the Summit. By showing the local election in May, Prime Minister Pushpakamal Dahal has tried to escape from the Summit. This is very much unfortunate for Nepal. As Dahal has surrendered to Delhi, with the fear that his bosses in Delhi will become unhappy if he will take part in the Beijing Summit, Dahal has tried to escape the Summit.
Sources say that the Indian establishment is not happy with the Chinese initiative for OBOR. Delhi believes that through this initiative, China will dominate the entire of Asia and Delhi’s role in South Asia will be finished. Therefore, Delhi has tried to show non-cooperation to Beijing on this initiative. It is speculated that Delhi is going to send a small delegation led by a junior officer to attend the Summit where head of states/governments from important nations are going to attend the Beijing Summit on OBOR. After consultation with Delhi, Dahal has also decided to send a small delegation perhaps led by a junior officer. (To recall, Dahal, during his visit to Delhi, had signed an agreement in which it is stated that both the nations — India and Nepal — would perform similar policy on international issues.)
Until now, it is not sure whether the local level election would take place on 14 May or not. Many speculate that Dahal is planning to postpone the election at the last hours. And even if the local election is held, a Prime Minister can manage get three days’ time to attend the Summit, as sky is not going to fall during his absence. In fact, with the fear of his bosses in Delhi, Dahal is going to miss a great chance and also Nepal is going to miss a great opportunity on infrastructural development of the nation.
China has already given a gesture to Nepal that she would offer huge amount of support under the OBOR initiative for construction of roads, railway line, hydropower and other infrastructural projects. China is seeking Nepal’s strong commitment on this initiative. Quaternary to that, our power greedy leaders, instead of thinking for the betterment of the nation, are concentrating on extending their tenure in the government just by pleasing their bosses in Delhi. In September last year, China had sent a letter urging Nepal’s commitment on this initiative. Our Foreign Ministry kept that letter pending for months and after Chinese pressure, just recently, Nepal has sent a reply to that letter by expressing Nepal’s commitment. Sources say that in that letter, Nepal has not shown strong commitment but she has just tried to maintain formalities. Nevertheless, the political leaders in the government are not anxious with this initiative. In different seminars on OBOR, although one attended by our Foreign Minister and another attended by DPM and Finance Minister, they didn’t pronounce a single word on OBOR initiative. At the symposium attended by Finance Minister, Mahara, he did not say anything about OBOR, he only said that Nepal should work by balancing the two neighbours India and China. These evidences have made clear that the government is not keen to endorse any agreement that may hurt India. Of course, even a child knows that this government was formed under the initiative of Delhi and the main goal of Delhi was to stop Nepal from shifting her trade and cooperation towards China. This is not surprising, as the leaders in the government are serving the Indian interests. Important agreements were signed with China during the visit of the then Nepali PM KP Oli. The present government has shown reluctance in implementation of these agreements. Chinese President Xi Jinping was scheduled to visit Nepal if the Oli government was continued. When Delhi saw chances of the high-level visit was going to take place, an overnight plan was developed to oust the Oli led government.
Nepal seriously needs support from friendly countries to fulfill its development goals. If our leaders show good leadership, it is not impossible to bag foreign support, but when the traitors are in the government, the country will suffer.
Where is Nepal in OBOR?
By Prajwal Shrestha