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Nepal’s foreign policy in mess

By PR Pradhan

What is the foreign policy of the present government, we don’t know. Also, what is the foreign policy of the ruling Communist Party of Nepal (CPN), we don’t know.
All of a sudden CPN co-chairman Pushpakamal Dahal “Prachanda” came to stand in favour of Venezuela’s ruling President at a time when the US government and some European countries were giving warning on the President that if fresh election for the new President will not be conducted, the opposition leader will be recognized as the new President in Venezuela.
Indeed, the US and some European countries have attempted to intervene on the domestic affairs of Venezuela which is West’s hegemony against a sovereign country. However, why Nepal needed to take support of the sitting President, which is surprising. First of all, although Nepal has diplomatic relations with Venezuela, there is no day-to-day relation. Nepal’s outstanding foreign policy is known as non-aligned foreign policy based on non-interference and Panchaseel. Nepal has always maintained the policy of non-interference in any of the foreign countries’ domestic affairs.
Furthermore, everyday, many political ups and downs are taking place in the globe but Nepal has not made any reaction in such issues. Even in Sri Lankan and Maldives’ political turmoil, Nepal didn’t speak anything. Both Sri Lanka and Maldives are the SAARC nations as like Nepal but our government had no reaction in such political turmoil in the two countries in the recent past. Why Nepal needed to express sympathy on a totalitarian regime in Venezuela, which is very much confusing. According to some reports, the communist leaders in the ruling party, including Madhav Nepal and Prachanda have personal level relations with the Venezuelan President, thus far, Prachanda wished to express sympathy on him by condemning the US and some European countries.
When Prachanda issued the statement, another co-chairman and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli was out of the country. It seems, from this incident, Oli is facing American pressure. Therefore, the Foreign Ministry had to issue another statement in a mild tone. So far, the statement has no drastic difference on the message that the Foreign Ministry has given with the statement issued by Prachanda at the capacity of the CPN chairman.
So far, after issuance of the statement by Prachanda, the US government has become furious with the CPN and the government. Our ambassador in Washington was called by the State Department and the US ambassador here had called on the Foreign Minister to make clear Nepal’s current foreign policy and also the foreign policy of the ruling party.
Of course, after a long gap, Nepal’s foreign minister had the opportunity to visit Washington as the official guest of the US. PM Oli himself is seeking an invitation to visit Washington. In such a period, by knowingly or unknowingly, Prachanda has contributed to make cold Nepal-America relations.
Again, when it was reported in the local media that Prachanda was instigated by some of his aides in issuing such a statement, the other day, Prachanda denounced the particular media for publishing a fake report and he made clear that the statement issued by him was the firm stance of the ruling party.
To what extent the Americans are angry with the present government, it can be assumed from the absence of the American ambassador at the lunch meeting called by the Foreign Ministry to the ambassadors in Kathmandu on Friday. Instead of the Ambassador, his deputy had attended the meeting whereas the Ambassador was found hosting lunch to some pro-American journalists at the same time the lunch meeting was being hosted by the Foreign Ministry.
Foreign policy is a sensible issue. What type of foreign policy country like Nepal should adopt, the political leaders have to be responsible.
Since introduction of the multiparty democracy, the political leaders have contributed a lot in destroying Nepal’s diplomatic significance. During the King’s active rule, Nepal had kept a very balanced foreign policy. During that time, Nepal had been able to give her own identity from being one of the founding members of the non-aligned movement. Still, the Foreign Ministry claims that Nepal is a non-aligned nation, in practice, the country’s foreign policy is seen fluctuating a lot which is unfortunate for the nation.

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