Pages

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Nepal's new found republic faces hurdle


Election, Statute must to strengthen republican system
Yuba Nath Lamsal
 Today’ we are observing the Republic day. This day marks the historic moment that heralded a new chapter in Nepal’s political history by formally bidding adieu to more than two-century old monarchy and giving birth to the republican system in which people are sovereign and supreme to chart out their own destiny. On this occasion, we must take into account a kind of dire reality that we have not yet been able to institutionalize the new found system even in a half-decade.  We are still in the phase of political transition—the phase in which we have done away with the old system but have not yet fully developed and institutionalized the new one. In other words, the country is still in the political labor pain struggling to give birth to a system in which the achievements and agenda of the people raised during the Jana Andolan II and all other hitherto movements of the people would be solemnly formalized that would usher in an era of equality, peace, stability, democracy and prosperity in the political history of Nepal.
The constitution that our leaders and political parties promised to give the country through the Constituent Assembly (CA) written by the democratically elected people’s representatives has still remained as a pipedream in our political spectrum. It had been expected that the issue and demand raised by the people for more than 60 years would come into final realization with the promulgation of the constitution from the CA. We have embarked on this journey but the road ahead has always been bumpy and jerky.
We practically started the journey for a constitution to be written by the elected representatives of the people in order to institutionalize republican democracy, federalism and secularism, among several other important agenda. The election for the Constituent Assembly was held five years ago and accordingly the Assembly was formed. But the assembly failed to produce a constitution in four years and saw its bizarre demise, which was definitely unfortunate and embarrassed condition.
The demise of the Constituent Assembly without delivering a constitution was not an ordinary event. The first Constituent Assembly did miss the historic opportunity of writing a people’s constitution. This event will have a long-term repercussion and ramification in our national politics. If we look at the development over the last five years, we arrive at the conclusion that several factors and actors played role behind curtains in failing the CA, which our parties and leaders failed to comprehend. There were different interest groups in the Constituent Assembly and so were the parties of diverse political and ideological hues. These interest groups wanted the constitution to suit their own interests, ranging from lingual, ethnic, religious, regional and strategic interests. Similarly, the diverse class and ideological orientation also took the parties to a point from which they could not retreat for political consideration. Basically, there were different kinds of forces which had and still have distinct differences and diversity in the political outlook. From the perspective of their outlook, they can be classified into three broad categories— regressive or retrogressive, status-quoist and progressive forces. The regressive force wants to bring back the clock of history to pre-2005-06 period. In other words, these forces, want to fail and defame the republican system and revive the monarchy that has already been dumped in the trash of history. Though feebly, this force sometimes raises the demand of reviving the 1990 constitution. The revival of the 1990 constitution would mean the revival of constitutional monarchy. These forces are, therefore, anti-republic elements. But much water has flown down in Bagmati and Bishnumati since 1990. And the desire to revive monarchy is a mere dream as wishing to revive monarchy is like talking of reviving a person who has died and already been cremated. There has been a great deal of change in the political consciousness of the people in Nepal since 1990. The history has established the fact that feudalism and monarchy are incompatible with democracy. It was proved in the past that all our efforts to institutionalize democracy under monarchy were unsuccessful in. It has also been proved that monarchy always tried to trample democracy and failed. People realized the fact that democracy, stability and economic progress cannot be achieved under monarchy and they finally rose against the feudal monarchy. Hence monarchy was abolished and a republican set was ushered in. Now there is no going back from this achievement.
The second type of political force is seeking to maintain status quo that does not appear too interested in institutionalizing and strengthening the political agenda and gains raised and achieved in Jana Andolan II. The progressive force is alone seeking to bring about a radical change in political, economic, social and cultural fronts with simultaneously institutionalizing the achievements of Jana Andolan II. The clash of interest among these three forces is primarily responsible for the kind of deadlock in the last Constituent Assembly that lead to failure in delivering a new constitution. The regressive force was weak and insignificant both in terms of number in the CA as well as influence among the people. But their interest converged with the interest of the status quoist force. Thus, a new polarization took place in the Constituent Assembly with regressive and status quoist forces in one side and progressive and radical force on the other side. This polarization was reflected in the debate and decision on key issues to be incorporated in the new constitution. The federalism and its structure and state restructuring and governance model were two main issues that polarized these forces into two camps with both not backing out from their earlier stance. This failed the CA and derailed the constitution writing and the entire political process.
Republican set up is here to stay in Nepal and the new found republic must be strengthened. The new constitution is a must to strengthen the republican democracy and all other agendas of Jana Andolan and Maoist‘s People’s War’.  The first and the foremost priority at present is the writing the new constitution. But one process of constitution writing was killed and another process has not yet begun.  Thus, an early election for a new Constituent Assembly must be held to which all political parties have, in principle, agreed. The interim caretaker government headed by the sitting chief justice with ex-bureaucrats being the ministers has been formed for the purpose of holding the election. Although the interim government appears to be serious and sincere to its mandate and historic responsibility, it has not yet been able to assure the people that the election would be held within the period it has promised. The government has yet to announce the date for the election at the earliest which alone would assure the people about the certainty of the election.
In a democracy, there is no alternative to election. Moreover, people may not accept any kind of conspiracy to scuttle the election process and a constitution through a backdoor. There have been undercurrent conspiracies to derail the process of writing and promulgating the new constitution through the Constituent Assembly. These conspiracies are being hatched by the rightist and reactionary forces in overt and covert collusion with the status quoists to wreck the constitution writing as well as the ongoing political process. Thus, parties and people must be cautious against such conspiracies and extend cooperation to hold the election.  But election alone does not guarantee that constitution would be promulgated. This is so because the issues and disputes that had led to the demise of the previous CA have not yet been addressed and settled. If those issues were not settled, there is no certainty that the second CA, too, would also be able to give the country a new constitution. But we must be optimistic and hope that the parties have learnt lessons from their past mistakes, setbacks and failure. Learning from the past mistakes, the parties would arrive at a common point in order to give the country a constitution and political solution. This alone would safeguard the achievements of Jana Andolan and also strengthen the republican system. Perhaps, this year’s Republican Day would give all of us this important lesson.

Chinese premier's strategic trip to India, Pakistan


Yuba Nath Lamsal
The recent visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang  to India and China, as a part of six country maiden sojourn since he assumed the premiership, has been analyzed as a diplomatic move with far-reaching impact not only  for better and closer relations between China and South Asia but also peace, security and balance of power in the region. With the end of Cold War marked by visible policy shift of the United States in South Asia with that has shown a clear tilt towards India and distance with its traditional Cold War era ally Pakistan, many have predicted a U-turn in the balance of power in South Asia. In such a situation, South Asian countries especially Pakistan has looked more to China to fill the void left by the US policy shift in security and balance of power. Although China is not interested in propping any particular country against other, Beijing is definitely serious for peace, stability and time and situation. It is against this backdrop, Li’s recent visit to India and China has been viewed and analyzed both in the region as well as abroad.
South Asia is China’s neighborhood. China is partly a South Asian country because much of its landmass is connected with South Asia. Of the eight South Asian countries, China shares common land border with five countries (Nepal, India, Bhutan, Pakistan and Afghanistan). Similarly, China shares maritime border with Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Maldives. No South Asian country has common land border with as many countries as China does China. India has common land border with four countries ( Nepal, Bhutan, Pakistan and Bangladesh), Pakistan has two ( Afghanistan and India), Bangladesh, Bhutan  and Pakistan have common border with one country ( India) and Sri Lanka and Maldives do not at all share common land border with any of the countries. South Asia is therefore extremely important region for China from every perspective.
Every neighbor in the region is important for China. India and Pakistan are more important because of their physical size as well as their size of economy.  Both countries are not only nuclear weapon powers but are also emerging economies. China has no problem with Pakistan except deep and warm cooperation and friendship, while there is history’s baggage with India. China once fought border war with India and a border dispute is yet to be resolved. But both the countries have agreed to settle the border dispute peacefully and have vowed not to allow the bilateral relations to be affected by border dispute. In recent years, India and China are important trade partners with more than 66 billion dollar annual trade between these two countries and the trade between these countries is growing every year. They have pledged to increase the bilateral trade to 100 billion dollars by 2020. Given the annual rise in the bilateral trade between these two countries, the goal to increase to 100 billion dollar is feasible and possible in near future.
Pakistan is China’s strategic partner and an all-weather friend whereas China’s interest in India is growing because of its market. In other words, China’s relationship with Pakistan is guided more by strategic interest while economic interest is the prime driving force for China-India relations. It is therefore China is keen to expand the economic ties with India and wants to down play other conflicts. Moreover, Beijing has not perceived any kind of threat from India itself because India does not stand anywhere in terms of military and economic power compared to China. From the standpoint of military power and strength, India is fifty years behind while economically India is at least 20 years behind China. In the present global condition, China has taken the United States the only rival and threat. The United States, too, has seemingly perceived China as a challenger to its power and global influence. The United States has increased its presence in and around Asia Pacific region with the objective of containing China. There has already been increased presence and engagement in the Asia Pacific for which Washington has reached military, strategic and security alliances with several Asian countries including, South Korea, Japan, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, India and several Central Asian Republics. In some of these countries, the United States has established military bases. This military alliance and presence in these countries is directed towards encircling China. As a part of this broad strategy, the United States has entered into a strategic partnership with India in South Asia and trying to strengthen India’s military and strategic capability whereas Washington is doing everything possible to weaken and destroy China’s trusted ally Pakistan.
China understands that the United States may use India against China and has taken the US policy in South Asia and US-India Strategic Alliance seriously. China is not afraid of India but Beijing’s apprehension is that the United States is coming closer to south-western border of China through India. Beijing, therefore, wants to engage India economically so that New Delhi may remain neutral and keep itself at distance from Washington’s design against China.
Whatever the reason, cooperation between China and South Asia is needed for peace stability, security and prosperity of South Asia. China has money whereas South Asia is desperately in need of foreign investment. China is willing to invest and contribute to peace and development of the region.
China does not intend to compete but collaborate with India in various bilateral, regional and international issues and forums. As these two countries are the biggest economies of Asia, it would be definitely in the larger interest of the region if these two countries cooperate. China wants collaboration with India not only in economic issues but on security and peace of Asia in general and South Asia in particular. Extra-continental powers are trying to create conflict and clash between these two Asian neighbors and extract benefit out of it. China has understood it and watched closely. It is for this reason why China wants to work more closely with India. Now it is the turn of India to reciprocate and genuinely work collectively for peace security and stability of the region. If extra-continental power consolidates its position in South Asia, it would be detrimental to India, too, in the long run.
The 21st century belongs to Asia and the global power is shifting to Asia with China and being in the central stage. It is against this background, UCPN-Maoist chairman Prachanda raised the issue of trilateral (China-Nepal-India) strategic partnership. China has taken this proposition in a serious tenor, while India seems to be still hesitant. India’s hesitation is guided by its past hangover because it tends to treat its small neighbors not on equal basis but as junior partners. New Delhi, thus, hesitated to take Prachanda’s proposition in a serious and positive manner. Recent Li Keqiang’s visit to India and China also aimed at bringing South Asian neighbors closer and creating an atmosphere of trust among the neighbors for increased cooperation and collaboration for the larger good of the people. China is willing to make any kind of cooperation to foster a new sense of cooperation and collaboration in the region so that South Asia may not remain as an island of poor in Asia.
As US foreign policy priority has changed in South Asia after the end of the Cold War, China, too, is trying to adjust its relations accordingly in South Asia. This has become visible after Xi Jinping came to power in Beijing. China under President Xi and Premier Li Keqiang has focused its foreign policy on Asia. Soon after coming to power, President Xi began his first foreign visit from Russia and Premier Li from South Asia. This is a clear testimony of the fact that new China is more Asia oriented. China is becoming more generous towards its neighbors and the neighborhood. South Asia in general and India in particular needs to reciprocate accordingly to foster greater degree of cooperation between China and South Asia for the larger benefit of the people of the region. All South Asian countries, except India, are friendly and positive towards China and are responding to China’s generous and friendly attitude in a positive manner. India is the only country that is still skeptical about China’s good intention and still trying to play at the behest of extra-continental powers. New Delhi, thus, is required to shed this kind of mentality and come forward with open mind for bilateral and regional cooperation for the overall benefit of the region.


Saturday, May 18, 2013

Estranged politics and class interest


Yuba Nath Lamsal
Nepal’s politics is said to be estranged in the sense that politicians and parties are slowly being alienated from the people. The relationship between the people and politicians is marked by skepticism and mistrust. Politicians are the least trusted breed in the eyes of common people. Parties and leaders are slowly losing credibility. In a democracy, there should be a lively link, strong relationship and trust between the people and politicians.  And this makes democratic polity vibrant and functional. Devoid of such a trust and goodwill on the part of the political parties and their leaders, it only serves to vested interest groups that ultimately paves the way to the rise of dictatorship, no matter however best and democratic system it may be in paper and principle.
So far as Nepal is concerned, there is little cohesion in the development of Nepali politics. Every time when political change takes place, it has marked a systemic break and departure. We have come a long way from feudalism, oligarchic rule, monarchical absolute regime, guided democracy, one-party Panchayat rule, monarchical democracy to the present federal republican democracy. These are experiments but all experiments have not yielded positive results to the best satisfaction of the people. Despite systemic change, power has remained in the hands of similar breed of people, who constitute a handful of feudal and upper class elites, that have given continuity to the old system of functioning. Thus, there has not been visible change in the governance. The system changed but the rule of the game has remained unchanged which has not brought about any tangible change in the life of the ordinary people.
Our political journey has been long, arduous and tumultuous. But the Nepalese people are docile, obedient and law abiding. As law abiding citizens, they trust and obey the rulers and the rulers have always deceived the people and have taken advantage of the docile nature of the Nepali people. When people start to distrust, they would come out to the street in a decisive manner, which marks the end of one political era and heralds a new chapter in Nepali politics. People trusted the kings, Ranas, Congress, UML and others. But they miserably failed to live up to popular expectations and trust.
To trace Nepal’s modern history, it goes back to the period of unification through which Nepal was created as a nation state out of many tiny principalities. Prithivi Narayan Shah took the leading role in the unification and the people from different walks of life extended their helping hands to make the unification campaign a success.  Thus, the Shah king was not alone in accomplishing this huge national task. Credit of Nepal’s unification should also go to the brave Nepali warrior of different ranks and file and general people, who took active and spontaneous part in the unification campaign. However, the rulers that came to power after him often got bogged down in petty power politics with the royal court propping one group against the other to have control over political and military power of that time. As the court conspiracy worsened, different groups emerged at different intervals of history, only to vanish in the trash bins of history.
The nature of the state was military, and one who controlled the army also controlled the political power, which was the rule of the game until the time when monarchy was formally abolished. Nepal’s political history was always marked by conspiracy, betrayal and bloodshed. In this dirty power politics, many honest, dedicated and patriotic nobles and knights lost their lives. As a result, many honest and brave sons and daughters of Nepal lost their lives due to intrigue in the royal court of Nepal.
The Nepalese people extended their support to the monarch during the unification and also in the process of consolidating the established country. Unfortunately, the monarch or their henchmen often turned against the people and resorted to exploiting them once they were able to consolidate their hold on power. Their chosen modus operandi to grab and retain power was either with military strength or by conspiracy.
Out of the conspiracy, Jung Bahadur Rana rose to power by eliminating all his enemies and rivals and introduced an oligarchic system in which only the Rana clan benefitted. This system continued for over a century and came to an end only in 1951. The popular revolution that was at its height was suddenly aborted by the conspiracy of the external forces and ended up in a tripartite deal, which the Nepalese people still consider as a blot on Nepal’s political history.
This deal served the interest of the monarchy, the feudal elites and landlords. The majority of the people that had taken part in the revolution benefited the least. The tripartite accord transferred the state power from the Ranas to the Shah dynasty. People who participated in the revolution with the hope of becoming masters of their destiny were once again made subjects only to serve other masters.
Although the 1951 political change was insignificant from the perspective of popular rights, it did make contributions to raising the level of people’s political consciousness. From Nepal’s foreign policy perspective, the 1951 marked a turning point as Nepal departed from the old policy of isolation and began to diversify its international relations. From the standpoint of clan rule, it was a rupture. But it was a continuity of the old system in terms of class perspective. Although it marked the end of the rule of the Ranas and restored the Shah dynasty’s power, the same feudal class had an upper hand on the state power. Earlier, the Ranas represented and patronised the feudal class.
After 1951, the Shah monarchy emerged as the messiah of the feudal elites. The monarchy enjoyed absolute power and ruled in the name of the partyless Panchayat system for almost 30 years. The fundamental interest of the monarchy was to protect the interest of the feudal class.
Another rupture was seen in 1990 when the country saw a transformation from an absolute monarchy to constitutional monarchy with limited democratic rights of the people. With the weakening of the monarchy, the foundation of feudalism was shaken, but it was still alive.
With the political change of 1990, feudalism patronised by the monarchy entered into an alliance with domestic and international capitalism mainly against the emerging communist force in Nepal. This alliance, too, failed to counter the emerging wave of communist forces that came to the fore in the form of an armed insurgency. The real rupture in politics was felt only in 2006 when the old feudal monarchy was abolished, and Nepal was declared a federal democratic republic.
On the political surface, there has definitely been a rupture, but from the class perspective, feudalism is still alive and kicking despite the abolition of its patron - the monarchy. Feudals and landlords have again formed an alliance with domestic and international capitalists in order to check and marginalise the radical and revolutionary force.
Now there is a friction between these two classes and forces, and they are trying to outdo one another. The deadlock in the constitution-making process is the result of this. Had any of the forces dominated the others, the constitution would have been written and promulgated long ago.
The Maoists represent the radical force and champion the cause of the poor and proletariat. They want radical change and institutionalise their agenda of ‘people’s federal republican democracy’. The Nepali Congress represents the capitalist class and ‘liberal’ democratic force and advocates capitalist parliamentary democracy. The other parties are not significant in the present class-based politics of Nepal except in the head counting parliamentary politics.
In the first place, there is no space for national consensus in class politics. Different parties represent different classes and advocate the interest of their own class. In such a scenario, national consensus has no place. The present scenario is the product of this clash of class interest, which is not likely to change in the immediate future. Either there has to be class transformation of the leaders and parties or one force should be vanished from the scene. But this is very unlikely.


Sunday, May 12, 2013

Nepal lacks strategic thinking in foreign policy


Yuba Nath Lamsal
It is unfortunate that foreign policy remains to be the most disputed sphere in Nepal’s political spectrum. Foreign policy is something that requires national consensus and a unanimous voice of all political parties and the people irrespective of their different political and ideological line and leaning. The national consensus is foreign policy because the core objective of the formulation and the conduct of foreign policy of any country is to protect and serve the national interest. But our parties define and interpret foreign policy, its objectives and priorities in different ways to suit their partisan interest.
It would, therefore, worthwhile to go back to a little past and delve on how different regimes, rulers and parties defined and prioritized Nepal’s foreign policy. While interpreting and analyzing Nepal’s foreign policy, one should begin with the foreign policy counsels given by late Prtithivi Narayan Shah, who is the unifier of modern Nepal. Prior to Nepal’s unification, there was no foreign policy as such in Nepal as this Himalayan republic had been scattered into different tiny principalities. With the rise of Prithivi Narayan Shah and his unification campaign, Nepal not only emerged as a nation state but it also laid a basis of foreign policy. Small country situated between two giants of Asia, Prithvi Narayan Shah clearly visualized the danger the threat emanating from both the north and south for Nepal’s survival and existence. He quickly thought that a cautious, mature and pragmatic policy was necessary to not only deal with these two Asia’s empires but also to safeguard Nepal’s independence and its sovereign status. Thus, the policy of equidistance or equi-proximity Nepal has been maintaining viz-a-viz its two immediate neighbors are said to have borne out from the wise counsels of the late king Prtithivi Narayan Saha. It is said that Prithivi Narayan Shah told his successors as well as those who are around the corridor of power to follow certain ground rules in dealing with the neighbors. He described Nepal as a ‘yam between two boulders’ clearly defining Nepal’s complex geostrategic position and suggested to maintain equally friendly relationship with both of its neighbors. However, the late king has suggested his successor to maintain extra caution in dealing with the ‘clever’ southern power.
Although the situation during the time of Prithivi Narayan Shah does not exist now as much change has taken place both at home and in the neighborhood, the geo-strategic position continues to remain unchanged. During Prithivi Narayan Shah’s time, India was under colonial rule and China was a backward feudal state. Nepal was in the unification campaign. Although Prithivi Narayan shah laid the foundation of a unified country Nepal’s unification campaign continued until 1914. The Anglo-Nepal war and Sugauli Treaty finally put brake on Nepal’s expansionist drive.  But the geo-strategic position of Nepal demanded a shrewd foreign policy and the counsels of Prithivi Narayan Shah was its clear hint.
After Prithvi Narayan Shah’s demise, Nepal got entangled with internal power rivalry in the royal court of Nepal, which was partially responsible for reduced priority to foreign policy. The rulers concentrated their effort son consolidating their power in the domestic front and accorded a little priority to foreign policy and defending Nepal’s national interest abroad. The Sugauli Treaty had limited Nepal’s scope for territorial expansion as well as the expansion of Nepal’s influence. The priority was to defend its existence no matter what its status should be. The Sugauli Treaty was virtually imposed by the British rulers and Nepali authorities was forced to accept it, Through this treaty, British power established its superiority in Nepal and Nepal’s rulers, too, accepted, though hesitatingly in the beginning. But it later became as our fait accompli and the southern rulers often interfered in Nepal’s internal affairs, which has been given continuity even after India won independence. Since Nepal’s rulers concentrated their strength and efforts on consolidating power through any means possible, British rulers took it as an opportune moment to meddle in Nepal's internal affairs. The short-sighted people with high ambition for power often sought support from British rulers, which gave an open space for the neighbors to meddle in Nepal’s internal affairs and politics.   
Since then Nepal’ foreign policy became India centric grossly ignoring its geo-strategic strength. Every policy of Nepal were either guided or influenced by the southern neighbor. It was useless to expect any dynamic and decisive role and action in foreign policy front during the Rana oligarchic regime as the rulers always ingratiated the British colonial rulers in India just to protect their regime. With the end of British raj in India, Nepal, too, saw a systemic change overthrowing the century old Rana family tyranny and establishing multi-party system in 1951, thanks to popular movement. There had been great expectations from all quarters from the new regime that was installed on the foundation of the popular movement. But the change of system, too, failed to live up to popular expectations. In political front, it was marked by a height of instability leading to frequent change of government. In the foreign policy front, this was a worst period. The rulers of Independent India turned out to be more conservative than the British raj. India had definitely played supportive role in the democratic movement of Nepal. But the role it played after the political change in Nepal was objectionable. Anyway, this phase also got over with the passage of time as Nepal asserted its authority and India, too, might have realized its mistakes. Despite some discrepancy, instability and distortions, the 1951 political change had positive impact on two counts. The first and the most important aspect is its political dimension as it marked the end of Rana’s family rule thereby establishing an open political system with granting civil and political rights to the people. The second positive aspect was the diversification in Nepal’s foreign policy front. Although feebly and in a slow process, Nepal started establishing contacts and diplomatic relationship with other countries including its northern neighbor China after 1951 political change.
Despite diversifying diplomatic relations, influence of foreigners remained as strong as ever in its domestic affairs. With the misadventure of King Mahendra, who trampled elected the multi-party democracy and imposes his self-styled partyless Panchayat system tried to create a fa├žade of its independent foreign policy. But in reality, the rulers of Panchayat talked loud about national interest in public and entered into secret deal with certain powers at the cost of Nepal’s national interest.  Some efforts were definitely made to boost Nepal’s image in the international arena during the Panchayat.
But the situation worsened after the 1990 political change in the foreign policy front. The political parties that came to power or parties they had ambition to go to power tried to seek foreign blessing rather than consolidating their relations with the people. This mentality of the parties and leaders weakened the ability of handling of Nepal’s foreign policy. Political parties lack consensus on foreign policy. Different parties defined foreign policy priorities differently in a way that suit their partisan interests. In the election manifesto, parties do mention a short paragraph about foreign policy. But that is only for the sake of show but not action. Some parties even openly advocate the interest of the foreigners more than Nepal’s own interest. The first elected Prime Minister after the 1990 political change said publicly that democracy and human rights were the basis of his government’s and party’s foreign policy. The CPN-UML that came to power after in 1994 election described national interest as its foreign policy basis, objective and priority. The UCPN-Maoist is more vocal on the issue of nationalism and national interest. 
Even the government does not have foreign policy strategy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs is supposed to be the body that should devise foreign policy strategies, plans and action. But the Foreign Ministry is bankrupt of strategic thinkers and planners. Most of the people in the Foreign Ministry seem to be running after people in power to ensure plum positions and postings.
This has weakened our position in handling foreign policy and diplomatic ability abroad. It is the diplomacy that protects Nepal’s national interest abroad and boosts Nepal’s image in the international arena. Thus, the Foreign Ministry needs to be revamped and a high level mechanism of experts need to be created to devise foreign policy strategy and advise the government in the conduct of foreign policy and international diplomacy.