A new roadmap amid Politics 'as usual' in Nepal

    25-May-2021   
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Economy, commerce and trade move domestic and international politics today. Ideologies and past precedents possibly do not matter much in a world where the mantra is a better living condition for the common people. What is needed is judicious insulation of economic development from politics.
 
Is Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli trying a new roadmap in Nepal?
 
Of course, India has been focusing on 'development diplomacy' in the region and it goes without stating that like other South Asian countries, Nepal too enjoys inseparable relations with India in culture, religion.
 
Thus, dissolution of Nepal Parliament makes strategic significance for India as well. India's influence in politics of its South Asian neighbours often draws academic interest in regional diplomacy.
 
Not long ago, one Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa had suggested that India was its closer ally as compared to China. He had rather in a tongue-in-cheek fashion described India as a relative and China as a friend. Instability in Nepal would make it a vulnerable neighbour for India. But that is only one aspect. What happens within Nepal is anyone's guess as of now.
 
In an editorial, Nepal's leading newspaper 'The Kathmandu Post' has said : "....the largest piece of the stale cake of notoriety should automatically go to Oli, as he has been at the helm for the past three years, and is the primary architect of the project to weaken democracy for personal reasons".
 
The edit also said: "KP Sharma Oli will go down in history as a leader who crushed the dreams of a generation of Nepalis....".
 
It also notes: "Perhaps the greatest crime Oli committed against Nepali citizens is that he sowed in their minds the seeds of suspicion about the utility of democracy. It will take years, even decades, for the suspicion to fade away. He single-handedly drove democratic politics to the brink ....He exhibited how democracy can become a dangerous weapon when it falls into the hands of an unrestrained demagogue".
 
Nepal is of course battling the second wave of the Covid19 pandemic and is reporting more than 8,000 new infections on average each day.
 
Oli's own party has grown disillusioned with him. His party colleague Bhim Rawal says Oli had made the party like his private company by dismantling the structure created and often took unconstitutional moves and carried out activities against the party statute. But in all these, comes the crucial axis about the Nepal-India-China angle.
 
It is also important to note that as Asian giants both New Delhi and Beijing want to cultivate Nepal as a friendly partner. At a time when Nepali Parliament has been dissolved and due to Covid19 crisis calls have been made to cut down the number of diplomatic missions abroad, Nepal on Monday, May 24 (2021) opened a new Consulate General Office in Chengdu of China.
 
Nepal's diplomatic presence in China has only increased. It may be mentioned that apart from its embassy in Beijing, Nepal already has offices of the consulate general in Lhasa and Guangzhou. In Hong Kong too, Nepal also has its consulate office. Nepal’s envoy to China, Mahendra Bahadur Pandey, inaugurated the new consulate office Chengdu by hoisting the national flag. Both China and Nepal have been working for military cooperation.
 
"By deepening military ties with China, Nepal can also maintain its own national unity and political stability. Nepal has relied heavily on India for military matters and its southern part is home to a large number of Indian descendants. Quite a number of Nepalese troops received training in India," says an article in 'Global Times', a much read Chinese website.