By PR Pradhan
How friendly are our leaders and particularly those ministers, aides of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Oli himself with the social networks and media, we are unable to understand. If they would have visited social network sites, at least they could know the public reaction against the government. The above title of this column is reproduced from a reaction of a commoner in the social media. While organising the 4th BIMSTEC summit in Kathmandu, the entire Kathmandu Valley was disturbed due to different reasons. People experienced a curfew like situation. In the name of VVIP flights, Nepal’s only international airport was disturbed during the arrival and departure of the VVIPs. The Kathmandu sky was closed for half an hour before and after the arrival and departure of the VVIPs. Accordingly, roads were closed half an hour earlier before the movement of the VVIPs. These all were done in the name of security of the VVIPs. Apart from Nepal’s security, additionally 150 special Indian commando force was deployed for the security of Indian PM Narendra Modi. All these activities of the government show that our security organs are unable to guarantee the security of the foreign dignitaries or say they don’t want to take any risks about such things!
Along with the dawn of this “loktantra”, we have started to see the march-past of Indian commandos in Nepali soil, an unimaginable thing in the past. Whether if it was in the last SAARC summit, or during the Indian PM’s past sojourns, we have had to bear the presence of Indian security forces in our soil.
The frequency of foreign dignitaries is obviously high in Delhi. Beijing, Washington or New York and other cities are found receiving heads of the nation or state of foreign countries almost on a daily basis. Sometimes, these cities are found receiving many heads of the state/nation at once. The security authorities professionally and perfectly tackle the traffic situation, otherwise, let’s assume, how would be the daily life of the residents in these capital cities! Will the international airports be closed half an hour before the VVIP flights in such places, may be, our security organs are not aware of how to cope with such a situation. Otherwise, the security would not have halted the Kathmandu traffic during the movement of the President or VP, in Kathmandu, who are not under any security threat.
Every citizen’s life should be safe. Therefore, the security organs should keep every place, including the capital city safe all the time. As foreigners’ movement is high in Kathmandu Valley, the security organs have to make safe Kathmandu not only during the visits of VVIPs but also during the normal days so that the residents can feel safe and move around without any threat.
In the name of VVIP security, perhaps, nowhere in the world, ambulances are halted in roads. This is very much shameful for the security forces. In such a state of the security organs, we must believe that either our security organs are not efficient or they are not professional enough. If this is true, then, instead of giving trouble to all, it is suggested that the VVIPs’ travel should be managed by helicopter from the TIA to the hotel they are residing in and there will be no headache for the general people.
On the day when Indian PM Modi was returning, Indian opposition leader and chairman of the Indian Congress Party, Rahul Gandhi was in Kathmandu. He spent almost 24 hours in Kathmandu on his way to Mansarobar in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. He didn’t use VVIP lounge at the TIA, he just checked in as a commoner and went to the Radisson Hotel by a simple van. He didn’t ask for the government security to escort him. In the evening, he went out of the hotel and took dinner in a restaurant outside the hotel.
Gandhi is in one of the most highest hit list in India, but he didn’t feel any security threat in Kathmandu, neither did he gave any trouble to the commoners.
The Nepali people have high respect for the guests, whoever they are. As per our tradition, guests are regarded as Gods. But when they suffer from the visits of VVIPs, they have started to say that it would be better if they would not visit Kathmandu at all.
They suggest our security personnel to visit other countries to see how traffic is managed during the visits of VVIPs and follow that system in Kathmandu as well!
BIMSTEC or by mistake!
By PR Pradhan