Nepal's Political Situation Requires Perspectives
Nepal's Political Situation Requires Proper Perspectives
By Michael Putin
It is quite unfortunate that certain foreign ambassadors, mainly from India, USA and UK are having active political engagements and making statements on each and every turn and twist in Nepalese politics and issuing their own dicta, which is done against the norms of diplomatic decency. Countries like USA, UK and any other country, for that matter do not tolerate such interference in the internal affairs of another country. They are, in fact, having double standards in case of Nepal's internal matters in general and in dealing with Maoists.
The most surprising position in the case of Nepal has been taken by India, which often blames Pakistan and Bangladesh to have inspired infiltrators for terrorising India. The same India commits itself in all regional and international conventions against terrorism. In the Declaration of 13 th SAARC Summit held November 2005, member states including India has the obligation not to play double standards in the fight against terrorism. But India is playing double standard in Nepal's fight against terrorists. India allows Maoists to use its soil. For example, in November 2003, India allowed Madav Kumar to meet Maoist leaders in Lucknow, whereas on 30 December 2003, Indian security personnel detained Ishwor Pokharel, Standing Committee member of CPN (UML), at the Indira Gandhi International Airport in New Delhi to question him for his alleged meeting with Maoist leaders in India. However, in November 2005, India permitted the meeting of the leaders of seven political parties with Maoists in New Delhi and openly supported their so-called understanding. A layman cannot understand, being an emerging power of Asia, how India can exercise the same standard in dealing with terrorists and party leaders. This Indian approach has complicated the resolution of Nepal's Maoist problem and the western countries are blindingly supporting the Indian position as if they cannot follow independent policy on Nepal.
It should be noted here that no foreign nation has ever made another nation. They have their own interests and they are not trying to help Nepal purely for benevolent reasons. When we are unable to stand on our feet, rely too heavily on foreign nations to deal with our own problems, do not display our unity even on certain fundamentals of national interest and undermine our own national institutions, the foreigners would, of course, meddle in our affairs and treat us as a second-or-third-rate nation. This is the right time to stop it.
It is the vision of national reconciliation that the country has to embrace to move ahead in unison. Thankfully, we have an ancient institution, monarchy, which can and should serve as the focal point of national reconciliation. His Majesty has already urged all political parties, either over-ground or underground, to take patriotism as the point of convergence and consensus to resolve all outstanding problems of the country by ourselves and within the country itself. But instead the political parties did not respond to this call responsibly.
Very recently, the Government of Australia has expressly welcomed the proclamation of His Majesty the king to hold municipal elections in February next year and the general elections by April 2007. This step has been described as the opportunity to return to democracy. The Australian Government expressed the conviction that democratic activities would get re-energized through successful electoral processes and that the path taken by Nepal in this direction was a correct decision. The political parties have to embrace this opportunity and shun any actions that may be detrimental to the interests of the Nepalese people.
It is irony that political parties call themselves democratic, but they vow to boycott elections, the very soul of democracy. Political parties often cite the security situation not favorable for elections. If elections can be held in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kashmir, why not in Nepal?
The most absurd development in Nepalese politics is the so-called alliance of seven political parties with Maoists, whom they termed as terrorists and fought against when they were in power. It becomes obvious that the so-called mainstream political parties in Nepal have no distinct political doctrine. They seem to be ready to do anything to come to power even if it is against the norms of democracy. It is also evident that political parties have practiced double standards as this has been done by western countries in tackling insurgency in Nepal. Terrorism as defined by these countries incorporate those who support and harbour terrorists. This is clearly spelt out in the UN Security Council's relevant resolutions and also in the international and regional conventions on terrorism. The statement made by UN Secretary General on the pact between Maoist and seven political parties clearly violates with the spirit of these resolutions and conventions.
In the ultimate analysis, the recent irresponsible move by the political parties is against the values of democracy and basic norms of politics, which, if not checked in time, will invite sinister in the country, leading to its virtual collapse. The King being the ultimate custodian of the Constitution, the guardian of Nepalese people and the symbol of national unity cannot remain silent bystander and has to take even bolder step to make the situation under his control. People have full confidence upon His Majesty's capability to deal with this grave political crisis in the country. In fact, people always remain behind the King. Political parties who claim themselves as representatives of people have severed their relationship with people by extending helping hands with terrorists. Rather, they have been lured by the strategic move of the terrorists. Both parties and Maoists all now begin to target their so-called movement against the King. Now, His majesty has the two extreme options available: either to surrender to the terrorists or totally crush terrorists and its supporters with his long-term approach and establish genuine democratic system in the country. First option will not guarantee even his and people's existence. So the second option is the only and obvious response to the present political stalemate. Though it will take time to fully understand the situation by currently misguided international communities, His Majesty's move will definitely have international backing as time goes by. The latest support can be cited of Delhi's demonstration of December 1 in favour of the Royal Step.
It may be possible that political parties would like to show the people and the international communities that the King has failed to keep his promise to hold elections. Since political parties could not garner support, they perhaps expect stern actions from the Government against their support to terrorists so that a tense environment is created for massive insurrection to their benefit. Such actions will also give them an opportunity for avoiding elections. Therefore, it is absolutely necessary for the Government to conduct elections at any cost and reactivate democracy. This will help the Government defeat any sort of dirty move by parties and terrorists against the monarchy, the people and the country.