• Thursday 22nd August 2019

Nepal no longer nonaligned; Pakistan objects role of India in Afghanistan

  • Published on: September 4, 2018

  • By NP Upadhdhyaya
    Nepal is taken as one of the founding fathers of the nonaligned movement wherein Nepal together with some countries, including Nehru’s just born India, had vowed not to side with any power blocks and came out unscathed even at the height of the Cold War which ended up with the fall of the Berlin Wall.
    Nepal’s King Mahendra had participated in the Bandung Conference and made the country a non-aligned one. King Birendra too toed the same line and kept his country nonaligned even at difficult times. Nepal was respected and honored then in the world community.
    To keep Nepal’s status true to the spirit of non-aligned, King Birendra even declared his country a Zone of Peace which reinforced the nonaligned status of Nepal that allowed this Himalayan nation to keep a comfortable distance with the two power blocks that dominated the world politics then.   Nepal maintained a strict balance with the two super powers, the US and the USSR then.
    Though a desired distance was being maintained by Nepal vis-à-vis the two world leaders then, the US and the USSR, yet Nepal King was being preferred by both the US and the USSR when India, the self-declared champion of the nonaligned movement had tied its neck with the then USSR by signing a security pact for twenty years.  Madame Indira Gandhi was almost the stooge of the then USSR. And now the same India under the political joker of South Asia has changed the camp and could be seen practicing HUG-PLOMACY with President Trump.
    Modi’s clinging to the US in many more ways than one has allowed the Russian Federation to inch closer to Pakistan – the country now under the leadership of Imran Khan. Pakistan basically was an trusted and tested ally of the United States.
    Nepal which practiced non-alignment for several decades and decades and had earned honor and respect in the comity of nations has become a satellite of the Indian establishment, much similar to what baby Bhutan is now, since the sponsored political change of the 2005-6 that up-rooted the Royal Institution of Monarchy with which the country’s nonaligned status too appears buried down the earth. It was a calculated affair.
    Thanks Girija Prasad Koirala and former Maoists leaders, Prachanda and Dr. Bhattarai who while enjoying the Indian government’s Royal treatment during the entire period of the India sponsored people’s war whose combined efforts brought about the political change that India had desired since long, tore apart the nonaligned character of the nation and has been forced since the change to practice the structured political line as charted by the Indian establishment. What Indira Gandhi could not accomplish, Dr. MM Singh brought it to happen in effect.
    Now Nepal’s foreign policy is what PM Modi instructs to which PM Oli brings into practice. Or else why PM Oli invested his extra energy in carrying out the fourth BIMSTEC Conference in Kathmandu which could have been accomplished a bit later well within this years? Why the Jhapa accidental Communist ignored the SAARC even whose Summit meet is long overdue? Though PM Oli said the other day that SAARC has no substitute but in practice he made all he could to obey to the dictates and sermons of the Indian PM Modi in making the BIMSTEC conference a success? Observers assumed it to be so. It was Modi’s pressure exerted on Nepal that Oli was forced to summon the BIMSTEC meet in a haste. However, thanks to the respect and honor that Nepal as a nation-state commands in South Asia in its own right encouraged the neighbors and beyond together with Thailand and Myanmar to attend to the Summit at a very short notice. But was the BIMSTEC a success as being propagated by the Indopendent Nepal’s vibrant media?
    Yes, it was a success for PM Oli and Modi’s local Hench men in that he was quick to respond to the Modi’s who in effect cashed in on the Kathmandu meet of the region-ocean body meet in his favor to the extent that he knowingly damaged the long adhered nonaligned credentials of Nepal by forcing Nepal to join the military drill organized by India for the entire BIMSTEC members shortly inside the Indian territory.
    Writes Bishwas Baral that “there is a lot of confusion. Most Nepalese don’t understand why Nepal, which is not even on the Bay of Bengal, is a part of BIMSTEC. The common perception among the intellectual class seems to be that India is promoting BIMSTEC in order to undercut the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), primarily to isolate Pakistan, which is a SAARC member state but not included in BIMSTEC.
    The hard earned prestige and honor of Nepal’s nonaligned status has at a go gone to the dogs thanks to the diplomatic follies of Nepal’s Prime Minister and his immature and inexperienced foreign minister Pradip Kumar Gyawali. He is visibly a tilted man.
    Rupak Sapkota writes candidly that India in dragging Nepal and the other BIMSTEC members to the joint military drill wants to send signals to China that the entire countries in the Bay of Bengal initiatives were now “enemies” of China. Whether the countries in the BIMSTEC dare to annoy China in their individual capacities or not is a different matter yet India partially has become able to send this wrong signal to China through this joint military drill which includes Nepal. Nepal’s heads are down because of PM Oli’s immature diplomacy.
    He writes further rather in a blunt manner and tells his readers that “the fact is that the smaller countries of the region take India itself as the biggest threat to them”. This perhaps caps all the rumors, albeit Make in India, that India is a benevolent country in the eyes of the smaller but tortured neighbors of the regional Goliath.
    We have no authority to make comments on how Myanmar and Thailand think of India. Let it be their country to country business. But yet what is for sure is that neither Thailand nor Myanmar can afford to tease China for long.
    It is altogether a different matter that Nepal and China are about to begin the second season of a joint military drill named Sagarmatha Friendhip-2 in Chengdu beginning September 15, 2018.
    Being a part of the joint military drill gives a different meaning to a nonaligned country like Nepal. Nepal by joining the India sponsored military drill has hinted China and Pakistan that should India orders then Nepal will willingly (pleasingly too hopefully) fire shots at China and Pakistan.
    (Nepal is set to go in for a joint drill with Sri Lanka and Pakistan militaries as well report agencies.)
    China must have come to its senses that Beijing was simply being taken for a ride by the Indo-pendent Nepal PM KP Sharma Oli.
    It was PM Oli who at time of the great economic blockade imposed by “merciless” India on Nepal in the year 2015 had exhibited his nationalist face that even seduced China and the domestic population and it was this Oli craze among the population that Oli trounced the Indo-pendent Nepali Congress during the last parliamentary elections.
    Modi has succeeded in damaging Nepal’s nonaligned status which has now become a fresh tail and stooge of the Indian establishment. Modi can cash this trickery for his upcoming election advantage in 2019.
    But alas! Rahul Gandhi entered the political scene in India through Kathmandu. His secret arrival to Kathmandu on his way to the Man Sarovar Pilgrimage if cashed honestly could enhance his political image back home in India.
    Rahul Gandhi is thus advised to speak some soothing words for Nepal so that the people here forget the Indira Congress blunders committed on Nepal during the prime ministership of Dr. Man Mohan Singh.
    Dr. MM Singh dismantled not only the Nepali monarchy but opened the gates for all the worldly evils to pounce upon Nepal through Nepal’s own tilted leaders.
    Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar has the distinction in having dared to speak against PM Modi’s imposition of the economic blockade on Nepal. All that Rahul Gandhi has to do is to stretch the Aiyer’s soothing words in such a way that finally that makes a small place in Nepalese hearts. Mind it, garnering support from the Nepali population shall mean much for young Gandhi at time of the election.
    Though Nepalese will not be allowed to vote in the upcoming Indian polls in 2019, but yet the Nepal constituency could provide Gandhi political benefits to him in its own way which shall come to notice of the Dragon with whom PM Modi has somewhat disturbed relations even if Modi hugs President Xi the moment they are face to face.
    Talking of BIMSTEC, Nepal by hosting the region-ocean conference may have spent some two billions which for the time being could have been utilized in erecting some bridges across the nation where the common people have no means to cross the rivers except dangerous twins. Small school going kids could be seen crossing the swelling rivers in the countryside who could have been provided with this facility but no, Oli have had to exhibit that he is the most loyal friend of Modi in this part of the world. Nepal’s misfortune.
    Look at India again:
    One statement that the telegraphnepal.com has just received thorough electronic mail from Rishi Raj Baral, the Convener, Revolutionary Intellectual-Cultural Front, Nepal  reads in part, “On 28th August 2018, simultaneous raids were conducted by Police on the premises of prominent human rights and civil liberties activists and intellectuals – Senior Writer and Poet Varavara Rao, advocate Sudha Bharadwaj (National Secretary, PUCL) in Faridabad, Father Stan Swamy in Jharkhand, ‘The Hindu’ journalist KV Kumaranath, English and Foreign Languages University (EFLU) Professor Satyanarayana, ‘Namaste Telangana’ journalist Kranthi Tekula – all in Hyderabad, Anand Teltumbe (General Secretary, CPDR) in Goa, Gautam Navlakha (founder member, PUDR) in Delhi, Arun Ferreira, Writer Vernon Gonsalves and Advocate Susan Abraham in Mumbai.
    Since the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power in 2014, assaults on public intellectuals, humanists, rationalists and secular forces have reached a feverish pitch. This is part of an all-round attack by the Brahmanical Hindu fascist forces against the friendly Indian people. These attacks are simultaneously ideological, political, social, religious, ethnic, economic, cultural, juridical and environmental – carried out with violent and non-violent, legal and illegal, constitutional and extra-constitutional means.
    The Hindutva fascist Modi regime is not only the enemy of the oppressed Indian people, it is also the prominent enemy of the people of the South East Asia. Since longtime, we Nepalese people are fighting against Indian expansionism and its Nepalese lackeys.
    We Nepalese people always stand firmly with the oppressed people of India. We express our strong solidarity with the people of India, who are fighting against the fascist Modi regime. Now, it is necessary to launch a joint campaign against Modi’s fascism and their lackeys in Nepal.
    Dr. Rishi Raj Baral who was himself a Maoists leader having the distinction of to have worked with Prachanda and Dr. Bhattarai when the Nepal Maoists were waging a people’s war sponsored by the Indian establishment has sent this email to us.
    Now let’s see how the Maldives at the extreme end is being harassed by the Indian regime under PM Modi of late.
    Maldives is appearing as one country in South Asia which is sustaining Indian pressures. Maldives is famous in world as one of tourist destination, visa free country which comprises of 1000 coral islands in Indian Ocean. This country in past few years is passing through political turmoil and major powers are taking due advantage of political disturbance in the country. As an island its economy rely mainly on tourism and shipping. Maldives carry a great sway from India and Sri Lanka because of its natives and area is traditionally more influenced by India’s culture and economy. With the China upcoming as economic giant in the region, India wants its supremacy to be maintained not only on land but in Indian Ocean too. Though in recent years it is observed that China is grinding down Indian influence in Maldives by developing economic projects and military connections.
    India is a country which takes pleasure in inflicting continued pains to its smaller neighbors and this is what she has been doing in Maldives in the recent weeks and months.
    Chinese media recently reported that India which already has deployed its personnel and setting up military installations in Maldives is being told to take back its military helicopters and personnel. Chinese state media quoted that “The Maldives asking India to take back its military helicopters and personnel deployed there reflects the country’s increasing desire to rid itself of the excessive Indian influence’. (Source various TV channels).
    A commentary in the Global Times recently said it was wrong on the part of Indian diplomats and security officials to think that the move by the island nation came at the behest of China, which does not interfere in any country’s internal affairs. The paper said the move also sends a signal to the Quad bloc, consisting of India, Australia, the US and Japan in the Indo-Pacific that plans to “contain” China. However, the Maldivian spokesperson told one of media outlet that his country has asked India to take back military helicopters and personnel posted there following the expiry of a pact in June.
    And finally on BRI’s fifth anniversary: MARKING the fifth anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a conference was held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on 27 August 2018.
    The Chinese President Xi Jinping also the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee and chairman of the Central Military Commission addressed the symposium. He presented a progress report on the mega project, which was also an assurance of its success.
    During his speech President Xi underlined thorough and solid cooperation under the BRI umbrella to benefit people in countries involved and build a community with a shared future for humanity.
    The Chinese president furthermore called for efforts to uphold dialogue and consultation, joint contribution, shared benefits, win-win cooperation, mutual learning and steps to promote political trust, economic integration and people-to-people exchanges with the Belt and Road countries in order to advance the initiative step by step, producing achievements.
    Readers may recall that the blueprints for the ambitious and gargantuan project were unfolded in the autumn of 2013, respectively in Kazakhstan and Indonesia by Xi, when he proposed the building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road—the Belt and Road Initiative for short.
    And here is some about CPEC: The development of Gwadar port in Pakistan will directly benefit Baluchistan province and the whole of Pakistan under the bilateral China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Chairman of the Gwadar Port Authority (GPA) Dostain Khan Jamaldini told Xinhua in a recent interview.
    “Gwadar is a city of some 110,000 people and such massive industrialization under CPEC will have a great impact not only on the city but also on the whole Baluchistan province,” said the GPA chief, adding that the Gwadar Free Zone will have the capacity to generate at least 38,000 direct jobs in the remote city.
    Geographically, the small city is located in southwestern Baluchistan, being far from Pakistan’s economic centers. Road, railway and air connectivity were a great issue for its development.
    “Since the launch of CPEC, a drastic change has happened and it brought a second life to the port city,” said Jamaldini.
    Finally, Nepal by accomplishing the BIMSTEC task under Modd’s instructions has ddone more service to India than to Nepal which it should have been but was not.
    In the meanwhile, a fresh news from Islamabad says that Pakistan does not agree with the US view that India has a role to play in bringing peace to Afghanistan, the nation’s Information and Broadcasting Minister Fawad Chaudhry said the local media persons. Saying both Prime Minister Imran Khan and Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa were on the same page on internal and external security issues, the minister said Pakistan was quite clear “that India has no role to play in Afghanistan”. They have also discussed about the US dignitary visit to Islamabad this Wednesday.
    The new Prime Minister and the Army chief have held detailed discussions on various issues in the recent days, news agencies have reported. The News International on Monday quoted Mr Chaudhry as saying that the US wanted to give a role to India in Afghanistan but Pakistan was not in agreement. But both Islamabad and Washington agreed that the US should leave behind a stable Afghanistan, he added, quoting from the deliberations in the meeting.
    In the meantime Pakistan and Afghanis¬tan this Monday renewed their confidence in Afghanistan-Pakistan Action Plan for Peace and Solidarity (APAPPS) as the most comprehensive mechanism for bilateral dialogue on issues of concern to the two countries, reports the Dawn newspaper from Pakistan.
    This was agreed during a telephonic conversation between Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and his Afghan counterpart Salahuddin Rabbani. The Afghan foreign minister had called Mr Qureshi to greet him on his appointment as foreign minister.
    Mr Qureshi too had in one of his earlier pressers expressed his desire to speak to his Afghan counterpart and visit Kabul, the Dawn further reports.
    By time this story gets published, the US secretary of State Pompeo will have met the new ruling set up in Pakistan and may have already left for India.
    To sum up, Oli’s next step is to make Nepal enter into an Indian military Block doesn’t match to Nepal structured policy of non-alignment and thus wisdom should prevail over PM Oli that he refrains from damaging Nepal further. Ol;I is advised to regain his nationalistic credentials back as that would be nice for him and the India tortured nation that is Nepal. That’s all.
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