Kathmandu, July 8
The Parliamentary Hearing Committee today unanimously endorsed all four ambassador nominees.
The Cabinet had, on June 6, nominated Naradnath Bharadwaj as Nepal’s Ambassador to Qatar, Mahesh Prasad Dahal as Nepal’s envoy to Australia. The government had nominated Dawa Phuti Shrepa and Banshidhar Mishra as Nepal’s Ambassador to Spain and Bangladesh respectively.
After the confirmation hearing, PHC Chair Laxman Lal Karna told mediapersons that the committee had endorsed the ambassador nominees unanimously.
Although, the lawmakers from Nepali Congress and Samajwadi Party-Nepal criticised the government and Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli in the beginning of the confirmation hearing saying some of the nominees were not appropriate picks for the job, but after hearing the presentation of nominees, they too decided to endorse them.
Bhimsen Das Pradhan of the NC, who said that he would not attend any meetings of the committee if PM Oli did not appear in the meeting to respond to the panel’s queries about nominations did not show up for the PHC confirmation hearing that was held in the evening.
Pradhan criticised the government, saying it nominated wrong persons for ambassadors.
During confirmation hearing, all ambassador nominees pledged that if confirmed, they would try their best to enhance Nepal’s relations with the countries where they would serve as Nepal’s envoy.
Bharadwaj and Sherpa are close to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli and Dahal is close to Co-chair of Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal. Mishra is close to NCP leader Madhav Kumar Nepal.
Bharadwaj, who hails from Jhapa, had served a jail term with PM Oli for involvement in Jhapa revolution and spent 14 years in jail.
Bhardwaj is a retired professor of Tribhuvan University. Sherpa is the daughter of Pasang Lhamu Sherpa, the first Nepali woman to climb Mount Everest. She has obtained her master’s degree from New York University.
Dahal, who is from Chitwan, worked as chairperson of the government-owned Nepal Television. He was appointed chair of the NTV by Nepali Congress government, but this year he joined the NCP and won nomination for ambassadorial job.
Mahesh Prasad Dahal, who is close to NCP Co-chair Pushpa Kamal Dahal, is believed to have played a crucial role to help the NCP co-chair win parliamentary elections from his home district Chitwan.
Mishra, resident of Rautahat and a former minister of State for Heath and Population, has served as a member of the foreign department of the then CPN-UML when the department was headed by Nepal.
During the confirmation hearing only tough questions were posed by PHC members to Mahesh Prasad Dahal saying his wife had obtained US permanent residency card.
Lawmakers from the ruling NCP, Samajwadi Party-Nepal and the main opposition Nepali Congress raised this issue.
Minister of Foreign Affairs will now have to send the documents of each ambassadorial nominees to the host countries seeking agrimos for them.
The president will officially appoint ambassadors after the government receives the agrimos from host countries.
A version of this article appears in print on July 09, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.