• Friday 21st February 2020

Dangerous Diplomacy

  • Published on: January 1, 2020

  • Things stand so far, a government with a decided majority in parliament along with the opposition parties there have decided to endorse the American Millennium Challenge Corporation. The Nepali Congress whose finance minister signed it and the ruling communists whose sitting foreign minister endorsed it both say they will run it through parliament as stipulated in the MCC requirements. This is grist enough for the people to ask themselves what the fuss is all about. There is no wonder therefore that the Americans should be dejected enough to go public with their take it or leave it approach. The actual problem is the requirements stipulated for Nepal to acquire the fifty million dollars. At least, that is what seems to be the case so far. But these questions should have been asked and delved into prior to signing the accord. These requirements should have been studied and discussed by the Nepali Congress when they accepted it and by the communists when they agreed to it. That they did not speaks plenty of the eroding state of Nepali politics and diplomacy in New Nepal. Politically, it unravels the mysterious stage management of the exit of a speaker in parliament who chose to sit upon the proposal in parliament for so long. Diplomatically, the issue has displeased not only the donor.
    How the Millennium Challenge Fund floated by the United States can be divorced totally from its foreign policy objectives is a concept beyond diplomatic belief. The Americans have a stated policy objective in pursuing their Indo-Pacific Strategy. Public discussion in Nepal wishing this away is unrealistic in the least. This nexus cannot be done away with in any diplomatic transaction wit that country. But, that the Million Challenge Fund should be a largesse bestowed on Nepal over and above any policy priority in Washington D.C. is wishful thinking in the least. How then is Nepali diplomacy going to interact with any foreign counterpart with the demand that their tractions with Nepal be conducted in isolation of their global strategy? This is humbug. Its end result is merely to antagonize a donor who had considered the deal done as it was demonstrated by this country accepting it. Difficulties in accepting it now as demonstrated in the public discussions only demonstrate the telling effects of utter lack of homework at home which is now telling on our diplomacy. The effects on Nepal-U.S. relations notwithstanding, the emphasis in Nepal on linking the acceptance of the MCC with the U.S. Indo-Pacific Strategy will surely have alerted China as also India which has been linked in the MCC. This is hardly diplomacy.


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