Oli government’s myopic moves
Along with the transmission rate of Covid-19 expanding in Nepal, political and diplomatic absurdity of Nepalese politicians is also on the rise. Consequently, neither is the fight with catastrophic Covid-19 being done properly nor is politics getting any shape as per the need. In last couple of weeks the KP Sharma Oli cabinet has shown its immaturity by extending the lockdown meaninglessly. Neither in Kathmandu nor elsewhere the lockdown is seen as a pragmatic move.
Oli cabinet passed the decision to reopen 44 industries but it has been proven to be an immature decision. When the number of the infected of Covid-19 increased due to the rapid testing the government had to take back its decision. It shows that the government must expedite the testing seriously rather than taking baseless decisions.
During the pandemic, the nation witnessed the capacity of the government in dealing with geopolitics and with domestic political affairs. It was with a myopic decision that Oli government brought two ordinances and invited political imbalance in Nepal. It’s well established that the ordinance managed to unhinge Nepal Communist Party (NCP) and the party is sensing aftershocks which has been impacting Nepalese polity subsequently.
Shedding light upon the dramatic developments, let’s see events unfolding categorically. The dire consequences of ordinance hammered the base of the NCP and started a debate to dethrone KP Sharma Oli alleging him of being autocratic. His own party leaders blamed him that he is not capable enough to drive the nation so far. Discourse heightened to a level that NCP leaders started finding an alternative face for the PM. Topping it all, the NCP was on the verge of splitting.
Amidst these ups and downs, the kinetic movement of Ambassador of China to Nepal, Hou Yanqi was meaningful. Hou held a series of meetings with senior leaders of the NCP expressing concern over power game within the ruling party. She managed to stop the NCP from dethroning Oli and the splitting of the party for a while. However, the unrest within the party still has not vaporized. This aggressive activeness of Chinese Ambassador portrays long neck of dragon in the domestic affairs of Nepal.
For the last few years China is being assertive in Nepal. Nepal has been unnecessarily emboldening the Chinese to act the way they like. To corroborate this very fact, attack on a Nepali police last week would suffice. Indeed, only few Chinese nationals while demonstrating for the safe passage back homes scuffled with Nepal Police in Kathmandu. They physically attacked Nepal Police and injured one of the senior officers. What sort of psyche is encouraging the Chinese to flex their muscles in Nepal?
Another alarming act of China must make us worried- the installation of Gigabyte optical fibre network at the altitude of 6,500 meters. On April 30, China Mobile and Huawei jointly took 5G connectivity to a new height by bringing the network to the summit of Mount Everest. It’s surprising why Nepal shows its blind love towards China?
Upgrading and enhancing communication system in Nepal is a must. But the question arises, Oli government vehemently obstructed CG Communication (CG Telecom) whereas CG Telecom would have proven a boon in the field of communication in Nepal. Meantime, Nepal lays down red carpets to China to expand its projects the way the dragon wishes.
Prior to allowing Huawei to install its network devices at the Mount Everest, Nepal government should have thought that Nepal is a vital strategic location for many of the countries throughout globe. In the name of measuring the Mount Everest, one can easily speculate that China has ill intention to keep the southern part of Nepal bordering to India under scrutiny.
Egregiously, on May 2, China Global Television Network (CGTN), the government television, tweeted that Mount Quomolungma, also known as Mount Everest, the world’s highest peak is located in China’s Tibet Autonomous Region. Though the tweet has been deleted, it has raised a serious concern. China has deliberately floated a discourse to know the level of objection Nepal can make. In the long run, China would be more vocal in claiming that Everest lies in their territory.
Nepal is geopolitically sensitive country. Not only the immediate neighbors India and China but the US and western powers have grave concern regarding Nepal’s location.
Few days ago India’s Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh inaugurated the 80 kilometer Lipulekh road which will serve as the shortest route between New Delhi and Kailash-Mansarovar, a revered Hindu pilgrimage site in the Tibetan plateau. This was a historically disputed issue between Nepal and India.
India should have been sensitive towards the timing of the inauguration. However, the unnecessary ‘moves’ of China in Nepal would have catalyzed India for the inauguration amidst the pandemic. Over the issue of Lipulekh, the way PM KP Oli is reacting as if he doesn’t know anything is shameful. His cabinet minister is aware of all the development but PM doesn’t know anything! India boldly clarified its position about the constructed road and asked Nepal to hold discussion after Covid-19 pandemic ends.
It’s high time for Nepal to firstly manage the swift transmission of Covid-19 as the number of the infected is alarmingly growing. Secondly, Nepal, due to its immature government, is being trapped in geopolitical maneuvers. Blind love for China would lead Nepal nowhere.