REPORTERS CLUB EVENT: “The border dispute is sensitive and a matter of national importance, we have to keep our national interests in the center while framing policies,” said Dr. Prakash Sharan Mahat former Minister of Foreign Affairs and senior leader of the main opposition Nepali Congress party (NC).
In a special press interaction officiated by the President of the Reporters Club and senior journalist Rishi Dhamala, the latter posed questions regarding border dispute resolution and the current ruling party and its response.
“This government under the Nepal Communist Party (NCP) has not been able to perform, and it has ruined the bilateral relations between the two nations. Kalapani was an issue that preexisted. When leaders like Sushil Koirala and Sher Bahadur Deuba led the government they should have made a mechanism to resolve the dispute.
There was a mechanism in place and dialogue was also initiated to bring it to an amicable conclusion, it progressed further too.”
“We are currently involved in opposing policies of the government that is in power, the opposition stokes nationalism for vested interest. We currently read that China has encroached on borders in several areas yet no one is speaking about it. This government is silent on the matter.”
“The entire matter of discussion on related issues regarding each dispute must reach out to the public. This government has not spoken a word. You could make a stone speak, but not this government.”
“To resolve the dispute, we must have a diplomatic approach and produce historical evidence and maps that show that the disputed areas belong to Nepal. A higher level meeting is required. The government has not shown the seriousness that is required in a case like this. The treaties that were signed must be made public and make the people aware, but since this has not been raised in the proper channel required we are facing this dispute.”
Senior journalist and the President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala also asked the former Minister to express NC stand in the upcoming by-elections. Dr. Mahat said “the government has failed to provide the promises made to the people. Neither has it been able to provide the right direction for governance”.
“This election will send a strong message to the ruling party. Besides big words and empty promises, nothing has been given to the people. Prices are skyrocketing, rising taxes, interest rates, and religious interference are plaguing the nation. The government is only planning on working for vested interests”.
“The government is bent on cajoling, bribing, punishing or threatening to meet its objectives (Chanakya’s original work Saama, Daama, Danda, Bheda). The NC team is ready with optimism for the coming elections. We have support from the ward to the center level and our cadres are working to get all the support required.”
President and senior journalist Dhamala also asked about the performance of the current government in 21 months of their administration. Dr. Mahat replied “this government has been wholly unsuccessful, and the local leaders of the NCP are disappointed.
Nepotism is rife, and the entire budget has been mismanaged. We are failing in international representation, and we have not been able to deal with our neighbors keeping our national interests at the center. The entire problem with China and India is due to the weakness in handling the current government, this is also NC’s view” he said.