NP Upadhyaya Kathmandu: Indian leadership remains in a shocked state. The shock is only but logical in that the Indian regime received two severe jolts this time which were at least not expected by the coercive establishment. The fact of the matter is India- successor of the British India Company, does not take Nepal as a sovereign state and any decision from Nepal that is not in line with its colonial mindset gives a severe jolt.
First jolt First:
The first diplomatic shock took a serious dimension when babus residing in the former Mughal Sultanate were told in no uncertain terms that Nepal as a sovereign nation would not be a part of the India designed military block under the disguise of an economic cooperation.
China and Pakistan were the primary targets of the Military Drill. India has fought several wars with these two mighty countries in the past keeping Nepal’s Gorkha soldiers in the frontline.
Prime Minister of Nepal Khadga Prasad Oli sensed the ulterior motive of the visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi while making a speech at the recently held BIMSTEC Kathmandu Summit Modi said “shortly the countries engaged in BIMSTEC shall meet in India for a joint military exercise”.
Interestingly, Nepal’s inclusion in BIMSTEC is deceptive in that it has nothing to do with the Bay of Bengal save the Monsoon clouds travelling all the way into Nepal from Thailand or for that matter Singapore.
However, Nepal is already a part of BIMSTEC and as a Chairman of the member state, August 30-31 organized its 4th summit in Kathmandu. The objective of the summit in Kathmandu was obviously to enhance economic cooperation between the member countries but, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi made it clear during the conference that he prefers to also build a regional “military” block out of BIMSTEC. His idea was to summarily isolate China and Pakistan, while also making sure that the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) is made obsolete once and for all. India wants to kill SAARC primarily because Pakistan is its active member and China is present in the regional body as an Observer. Never was India happy with Nepal’s proposal to invite China as an observer in SAARC. In response, India through its trained Nepali Maoist leaders and paid agents in Nepal sidelined the institution of Monarchy.
China lost a reliable partner in Nepal thus.
The fact is also that BIMSTEC is being misused by India-with its aim to use it as a military block to which other member states may not even be aware of. Poor baby Bhutan and Bangladesh….wake up please!
Moreover, these countries have of late advanced their country to country relations with China and Pakistan both suiting to their national interests. Exception could be Bangladesh headed by Prime Minister Hasina and Bhutan for some understandable reasons. However, Bangladesh has maintained good economic relations with China. China is already working on a $10 Billion Infrastructure Project in Bangladesh. This has also irked India. Yet PM Wajed is close to India. Her compulsions.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli during the Kathmandu summit reiterated that BIMSTEC cannot be a substitute to SAARC. Most shocking of it all for India is the rumor that BIMSTEC member states when they met last time in Kathmandu suggested inclusion of China in BIMSTEC. This is yet another jolt to India. Yet some others even talked of Pakistan’s inclusion.
On a quick note, high placed sources in Nepal’s foreign ministry reveal that Nepal has plans to convene a meet of the entire members of the SAARC on the sidelines of the UNGA, New York. Nepal’s Foreign Ministry is already engaged in giving a new lease of life to the India killed SAARC. Will India ever join this meeting?
India and Pakistan have already agreed for this meet but says the Indian official that it is not the “resumption” of talks between the two countries in New York. In the mean time, Imran Khan, the new Pak PM has written a formal letter to PM Modi inviting for bilateral talks.
Coming back to Modi’s idea to give shape to a regional Military block to the BIMSTEC, Nepal’s Prime Minister together with some strong nationalists realized that the country should refrain from any activities that would be a major deviation from its established and long practiced policy of non-alignment. That it was nothing but a design to malign the nonaligned credentials of Nepal, participation from Pune drill was thus withdrawn. The decision was taken to save the neutral image of the country be it came as a jolt to home grown fifth columnists and their mentors in India. In doing so at least Nepal was able to tell the world that the country has always maintained its long held status of non-alignment.
What appeared in the press after the denial to Delhi was quite disappointing and dangerous. A section of partisan media revealed that Nepal Army had voluntarily decided to join this military drill in India. Ministry of Defense was totally unaware of the decision. The Nepalese foreign ministry too did not know of the Army’s plan to join the drill to be held in Pune, Maharastra of India, a section of media reported. Some other sources however claimed that Defense Minister Ishwar Pokhrel and Foreign Minister Pradip Gyanwali were both aware of the Indian design and the decision of the national army headed by now retired Rajendra Chattri to participate in the drill. Did Nepal Army really play double?
Be that as it may, while Chettri needs to clear his stand on this in any case, question is also why these two powerful ministers Pokharel and Gyanwali did not inform their boss, if they were aware of the Army decision? This is dangerous. Is PM Oli being cheated from within?
And it is perhaps what may have encouraged Indian Ambassador Manjeev Singh Puri to make a sudden dash to the Army headquarters and discuss with the new Army Chief Mr. Purna Chandra Thapa on this matter.
For Ambassador Puri, “micro managed” Nepal is home away from home. He is planning for having Nepali Citizenship once and for all.
What is more than disturbing is that the new Army Chief, reports in Social Media reveal, have also lamented for having not been able to join the Pune joint military drill. If true then what could be drawn from Army Chief’s lament?
In this backdrop, it is PM Oli’s problems to keep his house in order and tame his erratic boy, failing to do so will have unimaginable consequences.
Given all these diplomatic upheavals in place, Oli is advised to watch the events closely and determine who were working for whom in his Cabinet including his personal advisors? Penetration of alien sleuths? Can’t be ruled out.
Second Jolt to India:
The second jolt which added to the first one was related with the transit routes awarded to Nepal by one of the declared bête noir of the Indian regime-China.
The facilitation of the transit routes to Nepal in numbers is what made the Indian regime uncomfortable. Delhi must have been told by local informers that Nepal has now opted to sit in the warm laps of the Chinese regime once and for all.
Prior to accusing Nepal, New Delhi should assess its own role and behavior and come to a conclusion as to why Nepal may have preferred to take this route? When pushed to the wall, Nepal found a good and reliable partner in China. The 2015 economic blockade that it was. Yet another blockade in Nepal is being rumored.
Though China has awarded several transit routes to Nepal, the usual and vocal India lobby has begun writing all the nonsense and some have even dared to claim that still Indian routes should be brought into use as against the Chinese ones.
This is nonsense in that this Indian lobby, the domestic one, doesn’t wish to break Nepal’s heavy dependency on India. This is just unimaginable but a fact which could well be noticed in the social media. Interestingly, those who oppose the Chinese routes belong to the same Mera Bharat Mahan brigade that have had their tacit contribution in damaging Nepal campaign then initiated by Indian foreign secretary Shyam Saran as back as in 2005-6.
Sleuths of Shyam Saran occupy high posts in Nepal. Keep on guessing?
Naughty Shyam Saran has admitted himself in a recently published book that he had remained instrumental in bringing about the “India desired change” in Nepal by forcing King Gyanendra to enter into the jungles.
He even claimed in the book as to why he had to exceed his bureaucratic limits of a sitting foreign secretary when he summoned a press conference and aired his personal preferred views on Nepal political situation that differed with his government’s views taken after the first general address made by Nepal King inviting the agitating Nepali leaders to form a government of their liking.
Mr. Saran through the special press conference facilitated smooth entrance of his comrade in arms that is the Maoists leaders who were sheltered in Delhi and kept under special care of the Indian government. The Maoists later captured coveted posts both in the government and in the parliament formed under the instructions of the Indian regime. Indian blessing continues even as of now, it is presumed.
More or less it was an India sponsored war against Nepal through the extensive use of Nepali leaders themselves. Unfortunately those extensively used were our own heroes Comrade Prachanda and ideologue Baburam.
Comrade Prachanda was in a China tour but has returned with a dim face. Understandably, China has no illusion about Prachanda that he is a Delhi confidante.
Under the new protocol on Transport and Transit finalized on September 6 in Kathmandu with China, Nepal can use four sea ports in Tianjin, Shenzhen, Lianyungang, and Lanzhou and there dry ports in Zhanziang, Lhasa and Xigatse.
Having said this, PM Oli could now be the next target of cunning Indian regime having dared to boycott the Pune drill and reaching the transit deal with China.
What next for India?
Two jolts in succession is what guarantees situation in Nepal to worsen in the days ahead. First, India will use its Madhesi and Maoist cards to uproot Oli’s government in Nepal. The Madhesi leaders are already restive and have threatened to demand for a separate country if their demand for amending constitution is not met with. In Janakpur, Nepal’s Madhesi youths displayed posters which read “Madhesh is a free country in South Asia”.
The Madhesi leadership is not clear which articles of the constitution need amendment to meet with their demands but the timing of their demand is quite significant. The Janakpur rally has just come close on the heels of the BIMSTEC drill denial by Nepal. This has some meaning. Add to this the fresh threat loaded statement made by India’s Army Chief Bipin Rawat on Nepal. (Frustrated Indian Army Chief Bipin Rawat threatens Nepal)
And Prachanda- a permanent headache for Nepal’s existence, is by all means an India nurtured Communist. By all means a highly unstable political personality and an ambitious individual, Prachanda now co-chairs Nepal Communist Party that Prime Minister Oli also heads. This adds to Oli’s problem because he has to not only save his government but the party as well.
A China upset Prachanda will hit PM Oli very hard expectedly.
How Oli handles the certain threat coming from Madhesi parties and also from the Maoist faction within his own party will be no less interesting to watch. Every step Madhesi Parties and Maoist take here on will be carefully managed by the conspirators in New Delhi. The war begins! Tighten your belts.