Nepal Struggles To Strike A Balance
After holding the position personally for seven weeks, Nepali Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as “Prachanda,” elevated Narayan Prakash Saud, a member of the Nepali Congress, to the position of Foreign Minister on Sunday. Since he was appointed Prime Minister on December 25, his cabinet has grown eight times, reflecting the instability of domestic politics.
Points to ponder:
- Narayan Prakash Saud was named as the next foreign minister by Nepal’s prime minister, Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also known as “Prachanda,” on Sunday.
- For the past seven weeks, Prachanda had been serving as Foreign Minister.
- Since Prachanda was named Prime Minister on December 25, there have been eight cabinet expansions, illustrating the broken nature of internal politics in Nepal.
- Foreign policy issues for Prachanda include China’s attempt to increase its influence in Nepal and rekindled US interest with the approval of the Millennium Challenge Corporation-Nepal Compact (MCC).
- Due to his track record, worldview, and ideological and philosophical stances of his party, Prachanda is also struggling with strained relations with India and a lack of support from the US and other nearby nations.
- As the US and China compete for influence in Nepal, Prachanda must walk a fine line with India.
- Many have said that Nepal may act as a link between China and India for economic development, but this hasn’t happened because of the unsteady politics in that country.
- China is eager to invest in Nepal as part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), while India is hesitant to work on any BRI-related projects.
- Observers claim Prachanda must unite domestic players for a consistent and cohesive foreign policy, negotiate BRI projects, carry out the MCC, and improve ties with India in the areas of energy, trade, and transit.
- Prachanda finds it difficult to get all parties to agree on foreign policy due to Nepal’s unstable political climate, and it is still generally ignored.