By Our Reporter
Dev Gurung, MP and deputy leader of the Parliamentarian Party, NCP, has said that the Pentagon statement issued on 1 June on Nepal Army’s participation in the Indo-Pacific Strategy is serious and objectionable.
In the Pentagon statement it is stated that the Nepal Army is to participate in the Indo-Pacific Strategy as a partner from this year. Gurung has urged the government to issue a statement refusing such a dictate of the US, explaining that Nepal, in accordance to the principles adopted by its foreign policy, cannot join in any military pact.
In an interview to a local Online Danfe TV, Gurung said that Nepal is a member of the non-aligned movement and she has adopted the principle of Panchasheel. Therefore, Nepal cannot join in any military alliance.
Gurung, describing the present global scenario, has said that the US seems moving towards armed competition to continue its dominance in the Asian continent.
Presently, the Asian civilization and economy most countries in this region are booming. China is emerging as an economic giant. On the other hand, the Western civilization is in a declining stage.
In the past, in the two great wars, World War-1 and World War-2, basically the Western countries were involved. Therefore, to continue the economic dominance in Asia, the West is moving towards military competition, Gurung explained.
Of late, the US Senate has endorsed the Asia Reinsurance Act and Tibet Reciprocal Act. Under these acts, the US is planning to centralize her policy in Asia under the Indo-Pacific Strategy and her focus is on Tibet. To keep Tibet under the US focal-point, the US needs to use Nepali soil, he explained.
The US has considered Japan, South Korea, Australia and India as the base countries for Indo-Pacific Strategy and mobilized other countries bordering China under the Strategy.
Earlier, the US had formed NATO to counter the then USSR. Now, with the same strategy, America has initiated the Indo-Pacific Strategy. Ultimately, the American plan is to constitute a military alliance under this Strategy, he said.
Besides from developing a new military alliance, the US has focused on mobilizing INGOs and multi-national forces to counter China’s Belt & Road Initiative. The ultimate goal of the US is to stop China’s economic growth in Asia and also the sea trade route from South China Sea to the Red Sea.
The US has focused on Tibet and if she is able to separate Xinjiang from China ift will be easier to control Tibet, Gurung has explained.
Since the past one year, the US has prioritized her relations with Nepal. Nepal’s foreign minister was invited to the US and three American senior officials have visited Nepal.
Recently, under the Indo-Pacific Strategy, a joint military exercise was conducted in Pokhara. Although, it was said that the exercise was for disaster management, there was no participation of the military from Nepal’s two immediate neighbours, when six or seven countries had participated in the military exercise.
The US is increasing its influence in Nepal Army, Gurung said. In 1999, the Ranger Battalion was established in the Nepal Army with the full support of the US. Presently, this Battalion has been expanded into three, which equals to one Brigade.
Although, they are given Nepali names they are functioning under the American strategy, policy and funding, Gurung claimed.
In this process, the Americans are trying to transform the Nepal Army into a American Baby Army, he claimed.
While going through the 1 June statement of Pentagon, it makes one suspicious whether any of the ministers has made a secret deal with the US, Gurung remarked.
Expressing strong objection on the Nepal government’s policy for providing six-month-long visa and five year-long multiple entry visa to the American citizens, Gurung said that Nepal has reciprocated the US visa policy for the Nepalis, however, it is not justifiable. The geographical structure of the two countries is different from all angles, therefore, Nepal should not have implemented such a visa policy.
He further said that there are volunteers from different countries, including the US. But the Nepal government has discriminated the volunteers from other countries by providing visa just for one year and providing visa for two years to the American volunteers. This is against the foreign policy of the country, he said.
Talking about establishment of the Uranium Research Center in Mustang, which is mentioned in the budget address for the coming fiscal year, Gurung said that earlier, a bill was tabled in the federal parliament. When it fell into controversy, the same bill has been come through the budget address in a hidden manner.
He explained, conducting research on use of Uranium sounds good, but considering Nepal’s very poor structures and state mechanism, there is the possibility of foreign dominance in such a research center. Multinational centers and INGOs, which are waiting for the opportunity, may influence the government mechanism easily. Therefore, this is a very sensitive issue.
From such mysterious acts, doubts have been created about the intention of the government and whether the two issues (Indo-Pacific Strategy and establishment of the Uranium Research Center) are interrelated, it is for the government and the people to decide.
If there will be a military partnership in the Indo-Pacific Strategy, the Americans will open military camps in Nepali soil, which is against the interests of Nepal’s two immediate neighbours, Gurung added.
He claimed that there is the strong presence of the American army here since the country faced a devastating earthquake in May, 2015. However, the Americans are not wearing any military dress.
Talking about the Sagarmatha Dialouge, he said, it also sounds good, but how will it be managed, the government has no clear idea of this.
He gave the example of Singapore and India on how such forums are misused.
He said that in Singapore, there is the Shangrila Dialogue forum. This forum is under the grip of the Western INGOs. Accordingly, in India, there is the Rayeshi Dialogue Forum. On this forum also, INGOs have developed partnerships. Both Singapore and India are strong in financial positions as compared to Nepal. When such forums are misused by the foreigners in these countries, there is the possibility of misuse of the Sagarmatha Forum by them as well, Gurung explained.