Kathmandu, November 12
Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal, while presenting his government’s accomplishments in 100 days yesterday, said homework was under way to appoint envoys in vacant missions.
The Dahal-led government had withdrawn the names of 14 envoys picked by the erstwhile KP Sharma Oli-led government.
While withdrawing the nominations, the government had said it would appoint ambassadors to these vacant missions promptly.
The government, however, has filled only two vacant diplomatic outposts — ambassadors to India and China. Among the two ambassadorial posts filled out of the total of 14, former ambassador to India Deep Kumar Upadhyay was reappointed to the same post from the NC quota, while former chief secretary Leela Mani Paudyal was picked for Beijing from the CPN-MC quota.
The PM’s foreign relations adviser Rishi Raj Adhikari said an understanding should be built between coalition partners on ambassadorial nominees. This has not happened.
Nepali embassies in Australia, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Israel and Denmark are without chiefs.
A diplomat told THT that keeping diplomatic outposts headless for long was ‘damaging’ as that sent multiple messages. These include: a country is downgrading its mission, giving low priority to the importance of the receiving country. Besides, it also gives a sense of souring bilateral ties.
“In our case, it’s not because of these reasons, but because of distrust of candidates picked on the basis of political affiliation,” the diplomat argued.
A version of this article appears in print on November 13, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.