Policy of Proximity: Well-defined and decipherable foreign policy a need for the hour

Reporters Club: In a discussion and interaction program jointly organized by the Neeti Anusandhan Prathisthan (NeNap) and the Institute of Crisis Management Studies (ICMS) in Kathmandu yesterday, various scholars spoke on the foreign policy of Nepal in the new context.

Speaking at the program Dr. Nihar Nayak said that it was his personal opinion and based on his research of over 13 years. He stressed on the need for Nepal to have a well-defined and decipherable foreign policy enabling a clear standing toward the international community. He said that the current foreign policy of the government was unclear and added to the confusion over pressing international issues including the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the Indo-Pacific Strategy (IPS).

(Dr. Nihar Nayak) 

While speaking at the same program Shrikrishna Anuruddh Gautam said that Nepal should first develop a clear mindset and follow the charter of what has been given in the constitution. He also added the importance of the geographical location of the country which was a key factor in determining what Nepal’s foreign policy should be.

Dr. Ram Thapaliya the Chair of ICMS said the leaders should work for the national interest or as history has it they will be voted out of power. He also spoke on the importance of diplomatic relations and the effect of personal decisions that make an enormous impact on the outcome. Dr. Thapliyal said there was a strong need to specify the actual needs of the nation and frame policies accordingly.

(Dr. Ram Thapaliya) 

Finally speaking at the program Dr. Ajay Kumar the Deputy Chief of Mission from the Indian Embassy stated that it is better not to indulge in unnecessary criticisms and value time to get working toward equitable partnership and development. He spoke of the newly inaugurated oil pipeline that had made it relatively easier for Nepal in terms of costs of transportation and at the same time being more efficient.

(Dr. Ajay Kumar DCM, Indian Embassy)

He said that further projects such as the Integrated Check Posts of Biratnagar, Bhairawa, and Nepalgunj would make an enormous impact on the way both countries do business.
The program was officiated by Deepak Adhikari the Director for NeNap, and the concluding remarks were made by Lt. Gen. (Retd.) Balananda Sharma the Principle of ICMS.

It was made clear that Nepal with its majority government had a tremendous opportunity to move forward with a concrete policy that would make its stances clear to the international community however there has been confusion over various issues with leaders in the government making differing statements toward policy and stance. A concrete policy of proximity toward its neighbors and other nations alike is essential for Nepal in the coming days.