N. P. Upadhyaya Nepali
Kathmandu: The expectations, by default, of the majority of the Nepali population that with the sudden death of the Constituent Assembly body, heaven will come down earth remained a day dreaming exercise only. Nothing worth notice did happen. Peace loving Nepali population.
The four major party syndicate, as claimed by Kamal Thapa, remains in place though the parties and its leaders have lost their legal existence as such, speaking on constitutional terms. Their authority continues to dominate the country’s politics much to the chagrin of the deaf and dumb population. Yet some parties claim themselves to have been in the “opposition” camp. What a fun?
Nevertheless, the parties, which claim itself in opposition, led primarily by the redundant parties e.g. the Nepali Congress and the UML appear now to have come to their senses.
Thanks Maoists Chairman Dahal that he spoke so determinedly that not only the NC and the UML but the entire population remains in a scared situation upon listening Dahal’s hair-raising remarks wherein he very freshly said that “Nepal Army remains in his party’s side” and that Nepal Army will not in any way get carried away with the encouragement being provided by the NC and the UML to the Nepal President.
One must admire Dahal’s confidence. Though Mohan Baidya may not have that much trust on him now.
The parties though have taken Dahal’s remarks as a repulsive one but yet the Nepal Army institution so far has not uttered a single word as to whether it now is a partisan paraphernalia or remain as a common national institution as usual? The people expect the latter role of the Army.
This NA silence is very dangerous indeed. (Here is a flash: The Nepal Army today, June 14, 2012, has rebuked Dahal's statement and has authoritatively clarified that the Instituition belongs to the nation and its people. Though a delayed affair but yet convincing indeed).
While this is the situation then the other which has been troubling the minds of the Nepali academicians is whether the nation should embrace the next polls for having once again the same CA body, the blood sucker, or prefer instead a parliamentary election?
Caretaker Bhattarai prefers election. Very surprisingly, his political bête noir, Kamal Thapa, the declared Royalist, is the lone subscriber to Bhattarai’s announcement. The rest of the parties tooth and nail disapprove the conduct of yet another CA polls.
Better late than never, Dr. Shekhar Koirala prefers parliamentary elections but not the one as declared by Bhattarai. Though his party has announced several protest programs in its bid to unseat Bhattarai from the current chair.
Lust for power.
However, Kamal Thapa too only has talked of elections but not made it known whether he means a CA poll or the parliamentary one?
At yet another plane, while the NC and the UML are now repenting as to why they collectively brought the Maoists from Delhi, the former NOIDA dwellers are themselves on the verge of a vertical and horizontal split which could be declared any time soon if things move as per the published reports. Till Wednesday evening, both Dahal and Baidya could not forge unity amongst themselves.
What adds more spice to the Maoists internal squabble is that a “selected” team of the Maoists leaders belonging to the Baiadya’s hardliner camp have just returned Kathmandu upon the completion of a weeklong luxurious trip to the land of Mao Tse Tung. Must have landed Nepal loaded with splendid revolutionary ideas.
Should this mean that Beijing now no longer trusts Chairman Dahal and the declared Indo-pendent Bhattarai and his band? A Xinhua news post, June 11, entitled “Who smothers Nepali dreams? penned by Zhou Shengping has in a satirical tone observed this: “Even though, after becoming a secular public from an old Hindu kingdom four years ago, this Himalayan nation does every so often get dreams at the national level which may be called Nepali dreams”.
The write up takes the changes in Nepal after 2006 as a farce, by implication, and nothing more than that. Could be a direct signal to Chairman Dahal that Beijing no longer takes him at his face value. Or maybe even it tried to indicate that Beijing doesn’t endorse the change? The write up exposes Nepali leaders and their claims made after the change. Worth reading that it is.
Is it that the Maoists hardliner panel will be the potential recipient of Beijing blessing if and when the party splits? This issue and the likelihood can’t be dismissed. But will they split at all?
Yet if one were to believe Saurav aka Dinesh Satyal , a noted Nepal analyst par excellence, who very freshly has predicted that Mohan Baidya panel may get adequate help and ideological support from the Revolutionary International Movement, RIM, based in the US led by Chairman Bob Awakin.
Interestingly, the US doesn’t like the escalation of communism in its own territories but exports radical communist’s ideas in the third world nations more so in the fertile area of the South Asian region. No need of fertilizer.
By extension then it should also mean that the NOIDA veterans of the bygone era too could extend their support to Baidya panel much the same way as they did to Prachanda and his bunch. The RIM was active then as well.
After all India must come for support to any group, radical or modest, if that damages Nepal further. The US friendship must also be taken proper care of.
One more interesting event in the mean time has happened in Nepal through the kind courtesy of a defunct and rough Indian diplomat, Shiv Shanker Mukherjee, who very candidly said that “Nordic countries” who were assisting Nepal were ‘stupid’ ones.
Admitably, Mr. Mukherjee must have not made such undiplomatic utterances on his own. He spoke the South Block inner pains. This means that India neither would tolerate the influence of the NORDIC countries increasing in Nepal which by implication means that this should apply to the US and the European nations also.
The US, the EU and the NORDIC countries should understand the inner meaning of what Mr. S.S Mukherjee has spoken of the NORDIC countries, more so of the Norwegians, and act accordingly if they have any prestige and pride remaining.
Now let’s take up the Chinese stance in Nepal.
Well, China by this time may have already understood its limitation in Nepal as far as increasing its political clout and influence is concerned.
A frustrated China apparently prefers now to contain both India and the US by siding with the Russian Federation.
Top hats of Beijing and Moscow just met during the Sanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, meet, June 6-7, 2012.
Reports have it that President Putin and the Chinese President have signed an agreement for what has been taken as “deepening all-around strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries”.
Says Alexander Lukin, Director of the center for East Asian and Sanghai Cooperation Organization, SCO, at Moscow International Relations Institute Studies who hopes that Putin’s China trip will further enhance the interactive partnership in between the two powerful neighbors.
It should be noted that both Beijing and Moscow have by now formed a stable and active relationship and both the countries now thus pay more attention to enhance their existing economic cooperation and also strengthen “cooperation on security issues that challenge regional and global stability”.
This has some definite meaning underneath.
Shi Ze, director of the center for Eurasian Security and development at the China Institute of International Studies, says, “China and Russia should conduct more cooperation in the Asia-Pacific region.
Shi has opined this at a time when the US has already announced its plan to deploy an anti-missile system in the Asia-Pacific region which, according to Shi, “will even more complicate the situation in the Asia-Pacific region.
“China and Russia will certainly not accept such US plan”, Shi authentically said.
In sum, the likelihood is that both China and Russian federation will collectively enter into the Central Asian region and later make grand inroads into Afghanistan soon after the NATO forces retire from the ravaged country. The French soldiers will quit Kabul by the end of this year. Though the US will have its meager presence even after 2014 exit.
By the way, China’s long time trusted friend Pakistan is already there to extend support if and when so desired by Beijing and Moscow. The string of pearls already is alive and kicking.
Thus the US advance in this part of the world will receive a great jolt. India perhaps has already envisioned the upcoming Moscow-Beijing design and thus may have begun toning down its erratic verbal attacks on China over South China Sea.
So says a fresh Beijing-Moscow agreement published by several International media. “The two sides will also further enhance bilateral military ties and boost cooperation on security and law enforcement as well as advance cultural and people-to-people exchanges”.
The two sides further agreed to “to continue their close high-level interactions, enhance communication and coordination on regional and global issues and deepen pragmatic cooperation in various areas,” writes the China daily in its recent edition.
Things have begun moving thus.
Given Afghanistan’s location at the “heart of Asia”, its newly affirmed natural wealth, and the expanding Asian economy, Afghanistan is poised to become a center of regional cooperation, writes Mr. Christian Hegemer of the Hanns Seidel Foundation published in a Pakistan Research Institute book, 2011.
So writes Dr. Azmat Hayat Khan, a Pakistani scholar, in his own words (from the same book), “If one looks at the location of Afghanistan in the world atlas, it is truly the heart of Asia. It borders China, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan, and its south-west is just five minutes flight from the Arabian Sea, and Persian Gulf. Starting from the south, all the ethnic groups overlap in neighboring countries, Wakhis, Tajiks and Uyghurs in Xingiang, Uzbeks in Uzbelistan, Tajiks in Tajikistan, Turkmen in Turkmenistan, the local tribes in Iran, and the Pushtun tribes in Pakistan”.
The scholar further quotes a British Geographer, Halford Mackinder, saying that only those powers can rule the world, who either occupy the Rim Land, which the British did, and controlled the world, or those who occupy the Heart land, which now the US and its Allies have occupied”.
Claims Brzezinski, the former US National Security Advisor, in his book “The Grand Chess Board”, that ‘for the US to remain a Super Power, should occupy Central Eurasia (Central Asia).
Thus it could be easily guessed that this Beijing-Moscow axis will now concentrate on how to penetrate smoothly in Brzezinski’s “Central Eurasia”.
Perhaps the fresh China-Russia agreement is aimed in doing this presumably.
Writes, Dr. Zhang Li, a Chinese scholar, “In the Chinese perception of Afghanistan and the neighboring areas, the stability and security of China’s Western frontier region of Xinjiang is one of the dominant factors in view of its relevance to Beijing’s core interests of sovereignty and territorial integrity”.
This speaks of China’s apparent reason to keep its eyes open and find a suitable space for itself in Central Eurasia for a variety of ‘compulsive’ reasons.
Russia has its own obligation indeed. Until recently, the Central Asian states were a part of the vast Soviet Union.
And here comes the role of Pakistan which is taken as “the road to a stable (landlocked) Afghanistan which passes through Pakistan”.
Yet Pakistan needs to settle its disputes with Afghanistan on Durand line first if she is to benefit from the emergence of this new axis.
Thus Nepal is strategically important for Beijing indeed yet if she together with the RF can increase its influence in South Asia and Central Eurasia then Nepal is a peanut problem.
Analysts in international media have already dubbed Nepal as a “failed” one presume that Moscow and Beijing must have held extensive talks as regards the US engagement in the Asia-Pacific region. The spillover effect will definitely approach Nepal but may be with a different political setting.
That’s all for this week.