Tuesday , September 25 2018
Home / Political News / Editorial / Northwards Ahoy

Northwards Ahoy

As the establishment would have it, Prime Minister K.P. Oli, has done it. His bristles, exacerbated by the unilateral Indian blockade, have been soothed by his Indian counterparts who have come to terms with his emergence as, as one Indian wise guys would want to term it, ‘more powerful than king Mahendra’. Indeed, gleaning from the Indian post mortems on his Delhi visit, the sailing was smooth and even the joint statement was made this round since, after all Oli and his party are firmly ensconced in parliament and the federal states and the Delhi accords bode well for implementation. To add spice to the diet is our media’s not so subtle demand for Indian commitments to be fulfilled and not forgotten. The rituals over, Nepal, now, must look northwards.
The north is another story altogether. It is China who has traditionally told us to settle our relations with the south. And, as things at Shanghai between our south and our north at high level national security meets between the two countries underscore, both countries appear to have agreed on the traditional undercurrents of the panchasheel upon which China insists its foreign policy us based. This modicum of understanding bodes well when it comes to Nepal—if, that is, the third party, Nepal, is willing. That will seems to have been waylaid somewhat, particularly by the Delhi visit which was awkwardly time it seems to coincide with the Boao meet where Nepal was an outstanding adherent since inception. As things stand, the tilt may be covered over again by Nepal’s ability turn pages of opportunity. The foreign minister is agile enough to pave the way for the Oli visit up north and the trip may ease the expected visit of Chinese top brass to this country. But somewhere amidst this is the likelihood that the Chinese will seek, if not demand, Nepali implementation of promises recorded in agreements between the two countries. This is forgetting, of course, the many speechifying expectations launched from the Nepali side that would have raised hopeful ears in Beijing.
It is time, of course, to recognize the inconsistency in Nepali foreign policy. It is not the wind that tilts Nepali foreign policy these days. It is the vagaries of political posturing in the domestic front. The Indian blockade triggered much China words here and the fallout was to the extent that the Delhi government was accused by its opponents in New Delhi of pushing Nepal northwards. Now that Oli’s trip south is supposedly to have smoothened feathers how the northwards bound policies are to be played will very much be of interest in both countries. Particularly Beijing, which is aware of Oli’s precedents and antecedents, cannot but sift chaff in search of performance. It should be aware by now, among other things, that the Nepali center of power has for decades now been dislocated severely enough to make any claims towards this merely pretentious. It is here that reliability and confidence matters in diplomacy. It is this that China will be seeking despite the spurt in northwards bound obsessions.

Check Also

Nepal: Partying

The Nepali population has found the decade expensive. Our leaders have long run out of …