Towards an Independent Nepal

March 12, 2018
12 months

What is the issue?

The transition by Nepal to being uninfluenced by external factors is seen to be not so smooth or quick either.

What is the recent development in Nepal?

  • For long, Nepal’s internal politics, the making of the constitution and the peace process have kept it far from smooth governance.
  • These issues have been dictated by the international community, mainly India, the European Union, the US and the United Nations.
  • The new government in Nepal is armed with all the powers and a majority in Parliament.
  • These give it the mandate to confront the external forces more firmly than before.

What is the present government's stance?

  • The new government led by K P Oli in Nepal has asserted that Nepal would no longer accept interference by outsiders in its internal politics.
  • He has conveyed to the international community that Nepal would pursue an independent foreign policy.
  • The Nepali PM directly supervises many of the government departments.
  • These include the state intelligence and the social welfare council which issues permits to NGOs to operate in Nepal.
  • The PM has asserted that any NGO or donor indulging in local politics or working against Nepal’s national interests will be expelled.
  • As, donors too are suspected to be promoting corruption.

Why is the transition difficult?

  • NGOs - Recently, around 30 philanthropists from the UK, US and other western countries assembled in Nepal.
  • They were there to explore how best they could spend a part of their wealth for the good of Nepal.
  • The aim was to fund the fight against “modern slavery”.
  • The group decided not to get into political issues, and work for children, women and oppressed groups trapped in “slavery”.
  • But this indirectly meant supporting “liberation” or “secessionist” movements in parts of Nepal, including the Tarai.
  • Violations - There were widespread human rights violation by the state and the Maoists during the decade-long conflict.
  • The peace process and the investigations into these human rights violation cases are incomplete.
  • Maoists, a key ally in the coalition government, are keen to have general amnesty granted in such cases.
  • This is possible only if these are handled exclusively by national agencies.
  • Oli tries to make these an internal affair and outside the gaze of international actors, which could prove to be a huge challenge.
  • Foreign relations - Indian ambassador visited to meet with the Nepal PM.
  • Oli hosted Pakistan PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with full state honours.
  • Both sides agreed to “convince” India that the SAARC summit be held in Islamabad.
  • Abbasi’s visit was part of “Pakistan’s pro-active diplomacy” and its desire to extend trade, commerce and defence relations with Nepal.
  • Pak PM expressed hope that the belt and road initiative of China would enhance connectivity and advantage in the neighbourhood and beyond.
  • Notably, Nepal and Pakistan are signatories to the initiative.
  • The visit of Pakistan PM, Nepal's growing proximity to China, substantial investment of the international community in Nepal, all demonstrate the inescapable fact of external influence.
  • Key external forces appear to be in a withdrawal mood, at least for now.
  • But it is unlikely for Nepal to be free from the influence of external player, at least not any time soon.


Source: The Indian Express

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