Foreign policy

With reference to Madhav Shrestha’s article “Foreign policy” (THT, Mar. 7), like him, I too believe that Nepal’s foreign policy has been put on the backburner with the country grappling with uncertainty, instability and even a threat to national integrity. So how can a country mired in internal conflict pay serious attention to foreign policy issues? Luckily, the international community is prepared to help us manage our conflict. I agree with Shrestha that a consensual approach to foreign policy is the need of the hour, which is possible only when the big political parties rise above petty interests and give issues of national concern due priority. Foreign policy, by and large, is an extension of domestic policy. At this point in time, we lack coherent policies on the domestic front owing to the violent incidents across the nation, particularly in the Tarai, which might result in, as Shrestha points out, an implosion with disastrous consequences.

Mohan Lohani, Kathmandu

Nepali herbs

I would like to respond to your editorial “This Simple Fact” (THT, Mar 7) in the capacity of a student of Botany. The central alpine region of Nepal is one of the most biodiverse regions in the world, habitat to rare medicinal plants like Kutki, Pachaule, Yarshagumba, Chiraito and Jastamasii. But in the absence of proper laws and policies regarding their legitimate cultivation and trade, smuggling and illegal trading of alpine herbs is flourishing.

As the editorial points out, not only does this adversely affect the livelihood of hundreds of people practicing traditional medicine, but the premature uprooting and mass collection of these rare herbs might in the long run even result in their extinction. Hence it is important that laws regarding conservation and cultivation of the medicinal plants be formulated at

the earliest.

Suresh Subedi, Kupondole

A ploy

This refers to the news brief “Medal names changed” (THT, Mar 5). This is only a government’s ploy to distract people from the ongoing crisis. The government should focus on restoration of peace instead of indulging in unimportant hassles like changing names of medals.

Aneesha Bhattarai, via e-mail


Following the success of the Jana Andolan II, many political leaders have come up with their own versions of new Nepal. However, what the country needs the most at present is a visionary leader, who can guide the country towards prosperity. But the SPA-Maoist alliance, instead of heeding to the call of the Nepalis and working to steer the country out of chaos and uncertainties, seems to be content in retrospective analysis and incapable of looking ahead.

How the leadership of the major parties develops in the next few years will have a huge bearing on the country’s future. The leaders must be able to overcome past fears and work together for peace, stability and progress and need to understand that democratic gains are much more important than party ideologies. They can learn a lot from India and China that have made tremendous progress by sticking to the vision of all-round development.

Surya B Prasai, via e-mail