The costs of excessive opportunism in Nepali politics is perhaps well explained in the curious American stipulation of the controversial Millennium Challenge Fund to be endorsed by the Nepali parliament and the somewhat arbitrary clauses regarding the project’s audits and abrogation. The fact is that the Nepali government has time and again shown its penchant for bunking agreements and assurances with changes in government. At least, it would seem, the parliament is a more permanent fixture in Nepali politics. As things evolved, however, parliament deals in individual members, even this is not enough. As is the fact that there is no surety even after a new election takes place for the speaker’s post in parliament. Parliamentary scrutiny has dug up so much dirt on the MCC that even parliamentary majority does not seem enough for endorsement. On the face of it, the fact that the Nepali Congress currently in opposition was the initial signatory to the agreement and the NCP in power is its current principal promoter cannot as yet insure the agreement is itself a reflection of the current mistrust of Nepali politics.
What is for sure is that the Americans have been rubbed wrong both on the discussions on intent and content. The Chinese have been abjectly forewarned and the Indians must be gritting their teeth as more than casual bystander. Whatever largesse was deemed to have been the design has been lost in the quagmire of allegations. The harm has been to Nepali diplomacy which wooed the funds in the very first place. Impartial conclusion on the debate cannot but center on this crystal point. One cannot but ponder over the effects of the preponderance of distrust in Nepal’s relations with its foreign friends. The direction is calamitous by all accounts. It is the very powers that sought political change in Nepal to suit their interests that now find their interests being compromised. The government, nay, the system, is stretching things too far. What results this will bring to the country in the long run is anybody’s guess. The already shaky foundations of Nepali politics cannot but shake further as a result.
The discussions on the MCC have, moreover, endorsed the theory that our political masters don’t do their homework well enough to prevent such colossus in their haste to please their foreign masters. So many stenches must be stirred in public to expose their haste. In the process, the mudslinging dirties foreign parties who cannot but escape the blame for the creation of such circumstances. This round though, the dirt has engulfed and exposed the politics itself. MCC becomes yet another aberration in a system that cares a damn for the structures it must nurture. Whether it is endorsed or not by parliament, the harm has been done. It has exposed the shenanigans of a political sector that is above the constitution and, because of this, is immune of its effects on the state. Indeed, the tragedy is that much painstakingly built national credibility is being so radically eroded.