Nepal's Argument . The three major political parties NC, CPN and UML formed a closed alliance and went ahead political considerations 100% consensus not possible, majority of MP's from Terai have supported the const. . Madhesis have lost the election (Nov 2013) and hence are not legitimate representatives of ppl. Const is open & dynamic and can be amended const IS Open as and when required
Nepal's Argument There has already been 7 yrs delay and ppl losing patience and faith and conservative elements talking about bringing back monarchy There was promise to pass the const as early as possible They criticise India for meddling in their internal matters. counter: not internal anymore as 1700+ km of open and porous land border. PN Haksar used to say "India and its neighbours are lost in each other's intestines" Madhesis have come into Bihar Since it is discriminatory, it is better to change it now then to wait for consequences
India's reaction appropriate or not . As Amb Jayant Prasad maintains that "India should talk softly, walk softly but at the same time ensure that our concerns are registered and appropriately tackled. . Then did we not "talk and walk softly?" Indian govt did tried to communicate in as many "sophisticated ways" as possible about our concerns * Indian govt did tried to communicate in as manv . PM called Nepali PM and asked to develop consensus Foreign Sec. Jayashakar was sent before promulgation of the constitution
India's mistakes? According to SD Muni: India used 3 stages but in vain 1. Hand's off policy 2. Any Const is better than no const. 3. PANIC stage when we saw that Nepali cons assembly rushed thru 270 articles in one day without broad consensus But in reality it was lack of foresightedness on our part, we should have worked consistently knowing how Nepali politics, their permutations and combinations etc. . Why have been late in reac ting: our approach should have been proactive
India's mistakes? . Another weak area of our diplomacy was: citizenship clause was in public domain from Aug and we knew that it would discriminate against 40-50% of population but we reacted only in Sept. . We have weak "public perception management" although we know that Nepali politicians have the tendency to use anti Indianism for pol gains Signs were visible: Aug PM Modi went on bilateral talks >every section of the society, media responded positively . But when he went in Sept for SAARC summit and related the same thing ->their was few sections of pol formations that were critical, we should have known now Nepali politicians are using India as a "punching bag"
India's Reaction Did not congratulate the country PM Modi's announcement was clear indication of our stand "Nepal is a sovereign country and India has no intention to dictate anything to Nepal. It is not our job to tell you what to do but support you in whatever path you take" But their internal crisis should not disturb situation in India.
China's Response . China had played it's card well, better than India. . Chinese FM was in Nepal to congratulate . China has strategic interests - Tibetan refugee issue and hence its insistence on North South provincial axis. . China is using Nepal as a pawn in the strategic game to "box India" in S. Asia . Nepal will become the "land pearl . China claims that it follows Panchsheel and is only interested in Nepal's development.
What should India do? India is re-calibrating its policy PM Oil visited and India announced that 300 trucks will leave from alternative route . India has to take interests of the Terai ppl w/out antagonising the hill elites. It is not the same Nepal as it was 2000 Media Management etc. have to be seen. At the same time we have to be "selectively less visible" and more "gentle but not passive." . Should use 4 C's: connectivity, culture, civilisation and Coop
What should India do? . Should strengthen economic linkages and create L6 13 economic dependency" . Goodwill created because of our proactive humanitarian help in EQ and surrounding PM Modi's visit has already eroded now damage should be reduced . Should improve connectivity before Chinese does Instead of using Nepal as a buffer state use it as a land bridge. . Resolve the irritants like boundary disputes etc. . Review the process made by Joint Working Boundary group @ periodically
What should Nepal do? Nepali politicians should also understand that India and Nepal are linked thru geography and history. Getting some help from Chinese can be a short term gain .In winters roads from China to Nepal will be blocked and hence Nepal has to be depend on India. They cannot win "war against geography" Political solution to the problem needs to be found. They need India more than we need them. => So China card is good until they play it.
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