Results must speak
How far it is paying to live as a free citizen depends on the government that follows the basic tenets of good governance. This is all the more evident
in a country that had had to go through an insurgency spanning a decade. Even with the peace process continuing, new criminals groups
have emerged taking undue advantage of the fluid political situation to serve their interest through murders, extortions, kidnappings and the like. Of course, it has even been alleged that some political parties act as the patrons, but this has not been
substantiated because of the inherent difficulties including political meddling and pressure. Meanwhile, the sister organisations of some parties too have taken it as a time to reap the hay. The mother party does not heed the call for restraining the errant members of such fraternity. This has, obviously, complicated the task of maintaining law and order in the country. The law enforcement agency has the usual political meddling lined up as excuse. It is true that there are many instances where the police have swung into action with remarkable results, proving that they are capable, but they are often hindered by unseen forces. The reference is an open reality.
But, the UML-led government has taken up the cudgel for streamlining the law and order situation throughout the country, particularly the Kathmandu Valley which seemingly boasts of a spiraling crime rate. For the capital city to be labeled the most crime infested cannot in any boost the image of the government. This might have been the backdrop for the Home Ministry to come up
with an ambitious “special security plan” that some have dubbed as a plot. However, the reality is on the encouraging side. It is encouraging to learn through the police agency itself that the Nepal Police, Armed Police Force and the National Investigation Department have notched up successes in seeing to it that the crime rate in the valley has decreased. This makes sense when the overall criminal activities are taken into consideration, though regular news reports point to crimes taking place. The improving security situation has to be felt to be believed. This necessarily points to the lower crime rate during the Dashain vacation when a significant chunk of the Kathmandu populace had left for celebrating the grand occasion. How it will be justified in the days to come when the valley returns to normalcy after the Tihar celebration is yet to be seen.
The first and foremost fact, besides the political interferences that often take place in the actions undertaken for maintaining law and order, the police force, it has to be acknowledged, lack the necessary human resources to fulfill their mission to the desired extent. The over-burdened police personnel, especially with the protests and demonstrations that are regular features of Kathmandu, need to be given a breathing space, that is the induction of new trained entrants. At the same time, it has to be agreed that some in this respectable law enforcement agencies do indulge in activities that are a blot, yet they can be identified and stringent legal measures initiated against them. It is keeping the fingers crossed till a discernible crime dip can be observed.
Four international airlines are to increase the number of their flights to Nepal as the country now enters the tourist season. The travel entrepreneurs are expecting a substantial increase in the number of tourist arrival. For some years now the figure of arrivals had not been very encouraging. This was largely attributed to the political instability and the dismal state of the law and order situation. Thus, many potential visitors had opted not to visit the country citing poor security. The earnings from tour-ism constitute one of the country’s major sources of income, and much has been spent in building the tourism infrastructure. We need now to improve Nepal’s image abroad so that it gets back its reputation as being one of the ideal destinations for tourists.
Now, as we approach the Visit Nepal Year 2011 which envisages welcoming one million tourists, groundwork and preparations should be made to see that this is realized. Tourism has the potential of reaping in much benefit. So that this materializes the tourism industry should get the priority from the government and the private sector that it deserves to see to it that the industry thrives once again.