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Regional affairs: Prachanda’s love for US erupts; Nepal needs dynamic neutrality; Malaysian PM visiting Pakistan

N.P. Upadhdhya
Could a link be authentically established in between the two events that raised some eye brows in Nepal and beyond?
The first one is the mysterious but planned release of the declared secessionist turned a political hero Dr. CK Raut followed by the red carpet welcome accorded to him and secondly former King Gyanendra’s somewhat surprising halt for two days of his already settled visit to Janakpur, the fertile base from where the secession-designer Raut performs his acts?
Can a connection be made?
King Gyanendra perhaps wanted to allow Dr. Raut’s followers to rejoice his release-celebration and thus he preferred to return to Kathmandu in order to take care of his ailing mother.
Dr. Raut kept a complete silence while Gyanendra was in town. What a lovely reciprocal gesture?
Hardly had Dr. Raut’s celebration ended, former Nepal sovereign King Gyanendra landed in Janakpur and the way the inhabitants of Janakpur greeted and honored Him was just exemplary in that only a day ahead the same crowd had greeted Dr. Raut’s come back in Janakpur in a grand manner.
The people were the same but the political connotations differed suiting to the occasion. This speaks of Nepali tolerance associated with brilliance.
But will Dr. Raut accept the change in the nomenclature of Madhesh as Terai as pronounced by the former monarch? Perhaps not. Gyanendra’s notion doesn’t fit into the project of Dr. Raut for which he has invested a lot of time and energy in the past and continues to do so in the future.
The Lahan Convention of Dr. Raut’s political conglomerate has already ended with the announcement of the formation of a new party with the name Jan-Mat (meaning Referendum) and shall approach the Election Commission soon for its registration to make it a legal political entity.
Look his stress on the word Jan Abhimat and now the name of his party as Janamat, whose literal translation is very close to the word “referendum” to what he prefers to interpret his agreement with the State. This has meaning definitely.
Dr. Dwarika Nath Dhungel opines that CK has duped PM Oli by exhibiting his status at par with the State while signing the agreement in Kathmandu. Dhungel made this claim while talking to a TV interview recently. He says that Dr. Raut has kept his “free Madhesh card” under the sleeves even if he has signed an agreement abandoning his former divisive acts or pronouncements that he used to make in the past.
To come to the point, the just concluded Lahan meet presided over by Dr. Raut has forced the people to take Dr. Raut in a positive manner. A strong political force, indeed a democratic one, is needed in what Dr. Raut prefers to call Madhesh or Terai
But what of the UN officials’ secret meet with Dr. Raut in Lahan as some media men have reported? Does the State aware of such a meet?
And mind it that we the people of Nepal have been kept engaged in some sort of endless talks on petty political issues with no substantial results for the good of the nation since, to be precise, 1990. And Dr. Raut’s somewhat uneasy slogan also deviated the national politics from development agendas for some good years in between.
The pimps and the Chowkidars, read the Nepali leaders as the people take them now, have lured the people under one pretext or the other and divided the people on political lines to the extent that a typical set of Nepali population prefers to secede from the mainland Nepal.
Observers agree that Dr. Raut’s movement has seeds of truths. His anger is to some extent valid which warrants immediate attention of the State.
Upendra Yadav, Mahanta Thakur, and Rajendra Mahato have for sure a powerful match now in Madhesh politics with the advent of Dr. Raut. Healthy competition benefits the nation finally.
The political animals who have ruled Nepal since the April revolution of the 1990s in which Rajiv Gandhi’s government was definitely a partner in creating upheavals in Nepal presented itself in a much more naked manner during the second April movement of 2005-6 wherein the entire Indian state machinery led by proxy PM Dr. MM Singh got involved and the Nepali Choukidars and dalals, as Ms. Alka Lamba takes the Nepalese, who were serving the alien gear catapulted entire Nepal and its politics and have thus damaged each and every fabric that had united all of us together in a single string for centuries.
Look the tragedy. For today’s Nepal, the entire world is India. We at times even ignore that China is in the North which demands equal attention.
At best, our foreign policy revolves around India mainly and then China comes to our mind on certain occasions. This is our world.
Nepal President Mrs. BD Bhandari is all set to visit China much to the discomfiture of India.
This news must have approached Delhi. The China trip may be aborted citing some internal reasons. Chances remain high.
In fact, there is United States of America, the Russian Federation and Germany, the EU and France in the globe which are our good friends. A number of countries are in the European Union, Germany and France included, with whom Nepal has maintained intimate relations in the past. The entire SAARC nations excluding India remains intact. Then countries in the BIMSTEC follow again excluding India. Nepal’s experience with India is too ugly to describe and hence deserves exclusion.
Talking of the US, Nepal is the first among the countries in South Asia to have had established diplomatic relations with the US as early as one could imagine. Since then Nepal-US relations have remained more than satisfactory. Our ties took a new height when the US was led by President Ronald Reagan who had recognized King Birendra’s Zone of Peace Proposal. The ZOP later was dumped by the present day leaders as per the instructions of the Indian regime.
Very freshly, the US all of a sudden made an appeal to Nepal demanding it to play a greater role for the US designed Indo-Pacific strategy. Okay. Not a bad idea indeed but the national opinion is divided on this count.
While some say that Nepal must support the US idea for country’s development needs then others opine that Nepal’s engagement may enrage China-Nepal’s northern neighbor.
The government thus remains in a fix.
To the best of our knowledge, neither the government has assured the US in “clear terms” of its full support to the US appeal then it has also not convinced China that Nepal’s entrance in the Indo-Pacific Strategy shall in no way be detrimental to the expanding Nepal-China ties over these years.
But care should be taken while approving the US appeal. If one were to believe to what the former Nepal Army Chief Gaurav S Rana has said to a local media man then one should first understand and take proper note of whether Nepal has the capabilities to handle the International pressure the moment we hint the US that we are “with them in this strategy”, which is largely believed to have been designed by the US to contain China. But it should not be like what is being talked of this US strategy. We may benefit immensely if we handle this opportunity with greater care and smart diplomatic acumen.
Says, the former Army Chief Gaurav Rana to Akhilesh Upadhyaya, March 11, 2019 that, “The statement calling for landlocked Nepal to play a central role in the Asia-Pacific is odd. Given our size, location, etc., how can we play a central role? The statement by itself sounds incongruous.”
But the fact is that such an appeal has been made by the US while our Foreign Minister was in the US and had met the US top diplomat Mike Pompeo on December 18, 2018.
Mr. Rana’s expressions in a way warns us not to get lured by the US appeal however, he hastens to add, in his own words, (sic) “We have to recognize our geographic reality and realize where we stand in terms of the power quotient. There are things we can say and things we cannot. We were important in the 60s, then things changed in the 70s with Kissinger’s rapprochement with China. We are coming back to that point again where we are strategically important again due to the rise of China. History is always cyclical”.
Does this mean that Mr. Rana is against the US stance when the latter appeals Nepal to play a constructive role? Is he afraid of China’s wrath in the whole game when Nepal enters into the Indo-Pacific orbit as proposed by the US? Does Rana believe that the present day Nepali rulers were not that capable enough to balance the ties with US, China and India on a country to country basis without harming the core interests of these giant friendly nations?
A recent statement made by Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State, clearly hints that Nepal has already become a part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy.
Pompeo states in a congratulatory message to PM Oli that the US appreciates Nepal’s contribution in safeguarding the rights of the Tibetan refugees and that the US hopes Nepal’s active help in “peace establishment” in the entire Indo-Pacific region.
In a fresh detailed news, dated March 18, says “Nepal has given assurances to US officials that it would continue to protect the rights of the Tibetan refugees I, according to a statement by US Secretary of state, writes Anil Giri for Kathmandu post.
Pompeo claims that Foreign Minister Gyawali had assured him while they met each other in the White House December 18, 2018.
Pompeo now opines that the US emphasis on a free and open Indo-Pacific region is very much in Nepal’s interests.
Nepal doesn’t need now to play hide and seek on the Indo-Pacific strategy. Minister Gyawali stands exposed.
The US Secretary of State has also mentioned that the support of the US to Nepal through MCC-Millennium Challenge Corporation shall act as a link in between the two countries.
To recall, under the MCC, Nepal has already received from the US a package of 500 million US dollars last year in August.
Perhaps all these mean that Nepal has already become a part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. If it is so then all that Nepal needs is to enhance its diplomatic capabilities which takes care of all the great powers, near and far, and in turn utilizes the assistances and favors received for the rapid development of Nepal.
Nepal’s diplomatic acumen has gone so low which could be at best told by a sad event wherein Nepal “congratulated” Indonesia when this country was hit by a high velocity cyclone. It was taken as the best horrible joke of the year 2018.
But to tackle the situation, the former Nepal Army Chief says “that requires astute and mature diplomacy, of which we are capable, for we have done it in the past”.
In saying so does Gaurav Rana hints that Nepal should once again bring back the way King Mahendra had advanced his foreign policy conduct during his time which was that of having a “dynamic neutrality”? And this is what Mr. Rana talks of this dynamic neutrality while talking with interviewer Akhilesh Upadhyaya.
Experts authentically claim that Nepal has already entered into the Indo-Pacific strategy. Or why Comrade Prachanda would have first pounced upon America on Venezuelan affairs and later he used this drama to enter into the US for the treatment of his proletarian lady of the highest order, Sita Dahal? Perhaps this is the extension of the holy wine phenomenon that the people of Nepal recently witnessed in Kathmandu under the leadership of Mr. MK Nepal who in fact, as he claimed, facilitated Trump-Kim meet in Singapore last year. . This speaks so many things unspoken. Mrs. Dahal is being treated for free at the Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, it has been learnt. If not free then Nepal embassy shall definitely foot the bill as is the practice after 1990.
Is the US so weak under President Trump as to have been challenged by Comrade Prachanda and the lone super power had to yield to his fake threats and invited him to the US under pressure? To recall, Nepal Maoists party was once tagged as terrorists by the US itself? And now the U turn? For what gains?
Prachanda still is a communist then? The number one capitalist-communist that Prachanda is. He is talked to be a billionaire. However, this news remains to be substantiated yet.
The slogans of Indian expansionism and US Imperialism, the catch words of the Communists have now all gone to the dogs. Cuba, Vietnam or even North Korea must have felt pretty disturbed looking at Prachanda’s US preference.
Or is it that since the US is at a comfortable distance with its former ally Pakistan, that American largesse is being diverted towards Nepal through Prachanda? Our billionaire communist leader is talked to be meeting Mike Pence-the Vice President of the US.
Without Pakistan, the US can’t solve the Afghanistan issue. The US understands this fact.
Though US has kept Pakistan at a distance, the latter’s proximity with China (the iron brother and all weather friend that both claim for each other) is in effect increasing each day mainly after the initiation of the mega projects under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor-CPEC.
To mark the Pakistan national day celebrations, March 23, several J-10 fighter jets of the People’s Liberation Army Air Force’s Bayi Aerobatic Team has arrived in Pakistan last weekend.
Contingents from countries including China, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey will participate in the parade, with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad being the guest of honor, news agencies have reported.
The participation of Sri Lanka para troopers will add to the colorful celebrations.
This is not the first time the Bayi Aerobatic Team performed in Pakistan.
The military highlight of the parade may be the new indigenously built smart missile tested on last Tuesday by the host country. Interestingly, the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Muhammad is all set to be the honored guest for this national day celebrations.
He will not be the only guest to be in Pakistan but a long list of foreign dignitaries are all set to attend the national day parade in Islamabad on March 23, 2019.
The Defence Minister of Azerbaijan, the COAS of Bahrain and various government officials from Oman are attending, while contingents of troops from Azerbaijan and Saudi Arabia, Bahrain will take part in the parade.
Planes from China and Turkey will be part of the aerial display, the other countries will have their grand presence in the parade.
Nepal shall perhaps prefer to refrain from attending this event for fear of being taken to task by the Indian regime. Poor Nepal.
For the Road: The first China-Pakistan foreign minister-level strategic dialogue was held on Tuesday in Beijing, the Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said.
“The strategic dialogue was co-chaired by Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi and China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi,” media report said.
Giving the details, the Chinese spokesperson said the two sides exchanged views on emerging China-Pakistan relations and international and evolving regional issues of common concern.
The Spokesman said that India-Pakistan relations and regional situation recently remained very tense and hoped that the two sides will touch this issue as well in the dialogue.
China favors dialogue in between India and Pakistan at the earliest.
In the meantime, the Chinese ambassador Luo Zhaohui to India March 17, assured that the matter of designating Jaish-e Mohammed Chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist will be “resolved” time permitting.
China had put a last-minute “hold” on the UN Security Council resolution last week, its fourth such move in a decade. Beijing had said its technical block was meant to buy time so the matter could be discussed and a considered step could be taken.
China has taken up this issue with Pakistan Foreign Minister in Beijing. That’s all.

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