Nepal-Poland Relations: Now 52 years old

Telegraph Nepal

Today, November, 25, 2011, will have completed the 52 years of the establishment of Nepal-Poland diplomatic Relations.

Establishing ties with friendly countries is one thing while keeping the friendly relations alive and kicking is just the other.

However, the half of it all is true as far as Nepal-Poland relations are concerned simply because the first half of the past initial decades saw some diplomatic, cultural, mountaineering and exchange of high level visits between the two countries.

The last one to visit Poland was Nepal’s Foreign Minister Chakra Prasad Bastola, as far as I recall.

Since then no such visits have taken place at all from both the sides. It is perhaps a case of diplomatic failure of both the countries.

Let me be frank enough today that after the establishment of Nepal-Poland Friendship Association, NPFA, September 2, 1975, our bilateral relations took a dramatic height. It was after the founding of this Association, for the Polish Mountaineers, Nepali mountains became the first choice both for watching from distance and for some more energetic Polish mountaineers, like Mrs. Wanda Rutkeiwicz, Mount Everest posed a challenge. Mrs. Wand finally scaled the tallest mountain of the world and possibly she was either the first, Junko Tabei, or the second women from Poland to touch the Everest. It should have been 1979. The same year Carol Wytila, was chosen as Vatican Pope John Paul from Poland. Double happiness for Poland that it was.

The NPFA helped the Polish guests to its best ability while being in Nepal.

It was after her scaling of the Everest, I recall, more than five hundred Polish mountaineers from Silesia, Zakopane, and Warsaw and may other small Polish cities, may have come to Kathmandu to proceed towards the Nepali mountains with the hope of making history. Some definitely made and some also lost their precious lives. We at the NPFA mourned the death of the Polish brave ones who lost their lives in Nepali mountains.

In fact, it was the Polish mountain expedition(s) to Nepal in series which remained instrumental in propagating Nepal in Poland free of charge. The expeditions upon return back home tentatively served as Honorary Ambassadors for Nepal which enthralled other Polish nationals to either come to Nepal as a normal tourist or at best to try a face-to-face with the snowy Nepali mountains. The process continued almost for a decade or even more.

 

The Polish Press equally extended its unconditional coverage in popularizing Nepal in Poland. Tales of mountains and the people living there, the dangerous trekking routes, the snowy mountains of Nepal and more so the courage of Nepali porters, all contributed to enhance Nepal’s image in Poland.  

Since I Chaired the NPFA in Kathmandu thus I have had the direct contact with the mountaineers or even at times, the Polish Alpinist Association, Warsaw, which used to refer the Polish alpinists to the name of our Association for having the first contact point for the visiting Poles.

We greeted the mountaineers. We helped them all with certain immigration problems and at times also mediated in between the Polish expeditions and Nepal’s Tourism Ministry.

I must mention that the Polish Embassy then in Kathmandu was headed by a fan of Nepal, Mr. Andrzej Wawrzyniak with the extraordinary plenipotentiary status.

Had not the NPFA received substantial support from this noble Polish national, Andrzej, we could have done a little but not all that we did or say accomplished in enhancing our bilateral ties during a short span of not even seven years.

It was then a communist regime in Poland. However, to our utter dismay, the then Polish government instantly allowed the Polish-Nepal Friendship Association to be formed in Warsaw. This does mean that Nepal was being taken in a different way even by the Poland’s communist regime. Mr. Andrzej Wawrzyniak headed the PNFA, Warsaw which I presume, despite of his approaching eighty, must have been in the same Chair.

A multi-dimensional personality as Professor Andrzej is whose love and honor for this Himalayan nation remains unchallenged yet is still doing his best to popularize Nepal in Poland through the kind courtesy of Asia and pacific Museum based in Warsaw, Solec Street.

 

He was recently in Kathmandu and met several of his good old day’s Nepali friends including this scribe. We once again vowed to work for the cause of Nepal-Poland relations. 

I had an extensive talk with the declared Nepal lover and we both have charted some plans on how to provide a boost to the existing bilateral ties.

We came to the conclusion that Ambassador designate to Poland, His Excellency Suresh Pradhan, Germany, can do great miracles if he wishes to do so. We also agreed to support Ambassador Pradhan in his noble endeavors provided he approached us.

By the way, I wish to assure Ambassador Pradhan that Poland now needs a Consul General who would represent Nepal. I am sure, if this office gets established in Poland, once again thousands of Polish tourists will head towards the land of their choice.

For the Poles, if their smaller mountains were primary schools then the Nepal’s high mountains were no less than Universities. This is what they used to talk to me during our conversations.

Finally I wish all the best to our bilateral ties on this auspicious occasion. After all 52 years must not be taken as a joke. All that now we need is Ambassador Pradhan’s serious efforts as it is he who only can provide a real boost to our almost stand still relations. I am hopeful that an energetic Ambassador Pradhan will do all he can. By the way, I also appeal Professor Andrzej to extend his valuable assistance to our Ambassador Suresh Pradhan who is shortly to arrive in the Polish capital to present his official diplomatic credentials.

I wish all the best for Nepal-Poland ties.

 

Thanks Professor Andrzej for all what you did to enhance Nepal-Poland ties. We need your support once again.   I wouldn’t request you next time as I am also planning soon to handover the charge of this Association to someone whom the friends of Poland in Nepal prefer.  I must quit now. It has already been more than 36 years occupying the Chair. I mean it. ( N. P. Upadhyaya). 

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