Winning International Trust

Madhavji Shrestha

With the formation of the government led by the left alliance of UML and Maoist Centre to be participated by the Madhes based political party FSFN, a new political horizon of stability has arisen in Nepal. This political development has dispelled the situation of instability experienced in the past 28 years. Indeed, this development could ensure the emergence of a political underpinning that might serve the long awaited aspirations of the Nepali people. Its sustained evolution would give Nepal a new facelift.
First and foremost, this government with a high majority needs to take concrete steps to build an environment for confidence to win the hearts and minds of the people. The past experiences should guide new government to initiate pro- people decisions. No inkling of the divided government should come out before the people who have voted the parties to the position of authority. Party and cadre interests and minister’s individual liking must not gain upper hands at the sacrifice of the people’s interests. Strict adherence to the confidence building guarantees the continued public favour, which is the precious asset of the political parties. This in turn underpins the lifeline that profusely helps to increase moral premises of the government. There is a great need to unfailingly listen to the Cri de Coeur (voice of heart) of the people. If neglected, the parties in authority will bear an irreparable loss of public confidence.

Image building
Doubtless, while domestic political stability with public confidence is of the utmost importance, no less important is the external activities of the government. Winning trust from abroad is the surest way of building a good image of the nation. This would indeed give a great mileage to conduct foreign policy and navigate diplomacy. The world today looks very confusing but not yet chaotic. Confused international situation is not so easy to grapple with and requires patience and skills to marshal the way clear for well-maintained relations with neighbours and other big powers alike.
Initiating proper steps for formulation of foreign policy and translating them into reality is a question, which is fundamentally different from domestic concerns. Giving good shape to foreign policy concerns demands great deal of talent and expertise, implementing them requires care and caution from those who handle them to move towards the direction of addressing those concerns. Foreign policy concerns are those matters that are related with foreign countries and foreign people with different culture and different way of thinking. It would be easy to change the course of action on domestic matters, but it is not so easy to morph the course of policy on foreign relations. In fact, formulating and executing foreign policy demands the capability and efficiency from the people with higher mind and greater vision. Therefore, the election of proper people for the proper positions would ensure a way to success. The political leadership must be surrounded by the people of proven knowledge and expertise to cherry-pick diplomats of acceptable standing and worthiness. If past practices are any guide, these are easier said than done.
Discussions and logics given above might open track for way forward to navigate the ship of foreign policy towards proper vector. It is not so simple to conduct foreign policy and to handle diplomacy in the region around Nepal and beyond. The world today is drifting towards situations with much inclination to embrace the nation’s national interests as supreme priority. Such tendency is not a welcome development at a time when the globalisation has taken roots. This development in turn has brought forth the unavoidable circumstances of interconnectedness and interdependence, which have very lately diverged a bit from the route taken earlier. It is, however, believed that most experts of international affairs think that the recent trend is ephemeral because the globe is the one the resources it has is meant for every nation, not for any particular nation however mightier it might be. This transient trend, they believe, will go away. Self-sufficiency at the present moment is a question any right thinking people would object to. Adoption of positive foreign policy trajectory is highly advisable. For the weaker country like Nepal it is a “must”. The way to it needs to be mapped out empirically.
More often than not, the question of the political leadership prominently figures in public debates. For the past several decades, Nepal has undergone a visible lack of the trustworthy political leadership. However, with the promulgation of the new constitution, three big political parties; NC, UML and MC have been successful in providing transitional leadership. The transitional period of implementing fundamental provisions of the constitution did not pass without hitches and hiccups. The political transition from the unstable political drama to the initial beginning of dispensing federal republican democratic polity is indeed an achievement notable in the landmark of Nepal’s political journey towards the circumstances of the 21st century in South Asian region. This region is still haunted by socio-economic grievances compared to other regions of Asia. Nepal is no exception to such a situation, but it still lacks vital ingredients for moving ahead to catch up with other regions, at least on the concerns of socio-economic matters. Under such circumstances, merely transactional leadership would be hardly sufficient to meet multifaceted demands of society to give fresh impetus to the country’s standing abroad.

At this crucial juncture of history, a trust-winning transformative political leadership is not alone called for but unquestionably required to build a modern dynamic society. Transformative leadership could ensure the transformation of the country to gain traction for its onward travel towards making egalitarian society without any seams of great inequality and injustice. For all that to materialise, wiser leadership endowed with high degree of courage and charismatic character must decisively come up with farsighted vision and action to lead the country as envisioned in various provisions of the constitution. Only party and its cadre concerns would put the country into an abyss.
It is high time that political leaders gave their time and thought to this sensitive question. Past practices must be done away with; new approach of policy for delivering to the people and enriching them with transparent and people-friendly political behaviour be taken to the heart as an apex duty.


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