Constitution in the making Politically neutral Nepal

Apparently, the process of the constitution drafting is currently dodging wayward. Political leaders considered responsible for the making of the constitution are squandering the much valued time due to their self- motivated political squabbles. People have now doubts about the timely promulgation of the constitution.

All members on the Constituent Assembly are entrusted to frame an appropriate constitution. However, they seem not in a hurry as exhibited by their political wrangling. Last minute drafting may invite several unwanted points of ambiguity that may damage the normal functioning of the constitution in the future.

So far, no discussion on Nepal’s foreign relations has yet taken place in the Constituent Assembly, as required in the current complex context of the interconnectedness and interdependence in this globalized time. We have, however, taken note of a provision as enshrined in Clause 21 of the Article 35 of the Interim Constitution of Nepal 2007, which states that the foreign policy of Nepal would be conducted as based on the Charter of the United Nations, Non-Alignment, Principles of Panchsheel, international law and the importance of World Peace. This provision forms the part of the Directive Principles which are not subject to questioning in any court of law. In effect, such a provision looks just as an expression of the pious wish. To meet the current need this provision is not enough.

The Constituent Assembly must go further to ensure the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country by enshrining a definitive provision as part of the constitution with all necessary details given.

The pall of the political uncertainty is looming large over the Nepali horizon. Unfortunately, this has attracted the interfering advices and suggestions, whereas, it is up to the Nepalese themselves to decide. The future has to be crafted taking this backdrop into account.

However, despite the highly unsatisfying relationships among political leaders, the top brass often tend to meet each other that somehow gives a glimmer of hope. The recent meetings among them to find a solution prove this case.

The political leaders of all hues have to be aware of and sensitive to the long lingering aspirations of the people. The trust of the people is the greatest asset for them. If they waste this highly-valued asset, they

are sure to lose everything they cherish. Opportunity does not frequently come

at their command. They must be able to seize

it when it is on hand.

To keep Nepal as a sovereign political identity, the leaders must heed the Cri du Coeur (inner voice) of the common men and women who have tossed them up to the positions of power and popularity. Only with their support, can they remain in the political

scene to work for Nepal. Their lead motif, therefore, must be to work for the

wellbeing of the people, not just for their cadres and sycophants, because the people’s affection is the greatest power that the politicians could ever possess. It is both their strength and tool that equip them with ability and courage to ward off any unnecessary foreign interference.

With this view in inner mind, all members of the Constituent Assembly must realize and work hard consistently to declare Nepal as a politically neutral country by enshrining it in the constitution itself. For this, strong, unequivocal, and consensual endorsement from all 601 members must come to firmly demonstrate the desire of the Nepali people to keep Nepal as a free and independent country in the current complex regional situation.

Certainly, this declaration as part of the constitution would work as a panacea to save Nepal from the frequent external interference for a genuine democracy to flourish and a truly independent Nepal to exist. Naturally, politicians would not have to go either to New Delhi or Beijing or beyond for any political concern of Nepal’s purely domestic politics. However, Nepal must be able to make intensive diplomatic campaigns to get this great constitutional provision realized and recognized by all in

the international community. To cite an example, this

is how in July 1962 the

then Lao government

made the declaration of neutrality, which was recognized by the international community including five veto-wielding powers of the United Nations.

The political neutrality of Nepal should not look

like the military neutrality

of Switzerland that has

been adopted since 1815.

As a politically neutral country, Nepal would not have to keep away from contributing peace

keeping forces at the call of the Security Council.

The political neutrality, however, means Nepal would not interfere in

the matters of other countries in whatever form,

nor does it want any sort of interference from other countries in its internal concerns. If the CA could declare Nepal as a politically neutral country unanimously, it would certainly go down as a unique declaration, not so far done in any other country.