Sunday, December 10, 2017

Nepal Voters Reject Pro-India Ruling Party to Elect Left-Wing Alliance

Media reports indicate that pro-India Nepali Congress Party (NCP) led by Sher Bahadur Deuba is heading toward a major defeat in parliamentary elections. Nepalese people have shown strong preference for the Opposition left-wing alliance led K.P. Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal Prachandathat that could garner two-thirds majority in the national legislature. The 2015-16 blockade of Nepal by India appears to have played a decisive role in voters' choice.

Nepal's Capital Kathmandu

Indian Blockade of Nepal:

In 2015, landlocked Nepal passed a new constitution with 90% of the votes in the national legislature. India did not like some of its provision and shut its border to put pressure on Nepal to force a change. Indian government denied it was responsible for the blockade. But no one could deny the ground reality of a major economic and humanitarian crisis in Nepal because of its total dependence on India for food, fuel and other supplies.

Nepali Response:

Leaders of the Nepali Congress which has always been close to New Delhi failed to unequivocally condemn the Indian action.  However,  the left-wing parties put the blame squarely on India for the crisis the crisis that caused a lot of pain in Nepal.

China vs India:

Nepal is a small landlocked country sandwiched between China to the north and India to the South. However, Nepal has had close ties to India because the two share a common religion and culture. Nepal has relied on India for almost all of its supplies.

The left-wing alliance favors closer ties with China. It seeks to reduce dependence on India by opening up supply routes through China, including a Kathmandu-Lhasa train link which goes over difficult terrain. India strongly opposes it for geopolitical reasons.

Nepalese Resentment of India:

When a devastating earthquake hit Nepal in 2015, Indian media descended en masse to portray the benevolence of Indians for the victims of disaster. The Nepalese found them so overbearing that they started a new hashtag #GoHomeIndianMedia which tracked for weeks.

Source: Nepal's Himal Magazine

The Indian media also attacked Pakistan's relief efforts in Nepal while it attempted to amplify India's response to disaster. Nepal's Himal magazine's cartoon mocked the Indian media by showing a photojournalist popping out of a smiling aid carrying Indian soldier's pocket.

Superpower Delusions:

Indian leaders have superpower delusions. They express such delusions by attempting to intimidate their neighbors--particularly smaller neighbors. Indians have stirred trouble in Bangladesh by using their intelligence service; they recruited, armed and trained LTTE terrorists in Sri Lanka; they blockaded Nepal; and they are using Afghan soil to wage proxy war of terror against Pakistan. All of these activities are not winning them any friends in the neighborhood.

Summary:

Nepali voters have rejected pro-India politicians and voted in left-wing alliance that seeks better ties with China. The 2015-16 blockade of Nepal by India appears to have played a decisive role in voters' choice. It's yet another reminder that India's attempts to intimidate its neighbors are backfiring. It's time for Modi and company to re-evaluate their foreign policy that seems to be guided by the Kautilya Doctrine that says: "Your neighbor is your enemy; your neighbor's neighbor is your friend."

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Indian Media's Nepal Quake Coverage Disaster

India's Kautilya Doctrine

Why is India Sponsoring Terror in Pakistan?

India's Superpower Delusions

Pakistani Arms Helped Defeat LTTE in Sri Lanka

BJP Makes "Akhand Bharat" Part of Indian Textbooks

Earthquakes in South Asia

China-Pakistan Ties

7 comments:

Pal said...

Oli/Prachanda are close to RAW and stayed in RAW run guest houses many times.

Riaz Haq said...

Pal: "Oli/Prachanda are close to RAW and stayed in RAW run guest houses many times."

How the RAW operates as an invisible force in Nepali politics
To be released tomorrow in Delhi, Prashant Jha's book 'Battles of The New Republic: A Contemporary History of Nepal' tells the story of the country's transition from war to peace, monarchy to republic, a Hindu kingdom to a secular state. This extract details how India Research and Analysis Wing plays a critical role in Kathmandu politics.


https://scroll.in/article/666441/how-the-raw-operates-as-an-invisible-force-in-nepali-politics


The NC was now in panic mode. Ambassador Sood had completed his tenure in Kathmandu and had left a few months earlier. This had weakened the voice of the MEA within the establishment, which was more averse to giving the Maoists a chance. RAW, on the other hand, had veered towards allowing the Maoists another chance. They had not encouraged the Madhesi parties—but the ‘agency’, as Kathmandu politicians called RAW, had not discouraged them either. Left to domestic factors, the NC realized that there was little that would stop the Madhesi parties from choosing the more attractive option.

The NC now used all its political capital to get India involved on their side. The former party leader, and now President, Ram Baran Yadav, shared a personal equation with finance minister and old political warhorse Pranab Mukherjee—the only senior political leader in Delhi who really paid attention to Nepal. They spoke to each other in Bangla—Yadav had attended school in Calcutta. President Yadav warned Mukherjee that the Maoists’ return to power would be dangerous, and they must help stop the Madhesis from voting for Bhattarai.

An Indian embassy official, upset with the [Nepali] President’s attempt to undercut the local mission and reach out directly to the political leadership, told me about this conversation and said that it had rattled Delhi. Surya Bahadur Thapa, the former prime minister who had excellent ties with Delhi’s political and bureaucratic elite, called up his interlocutors with a similar warning. Thapa’s grandson Siddhartha had become a close friend and, over coffee at Babar Mahal, Siddhartha expressed deep unease at the evolving Indian stance, as they saw it. Shekhar Koirala, G. P. Koirala’s nephew who had played an active role in the run-up to the signing of the 12-point Understanding, shared cordial ties with National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon. They had known each other since Menon’s time as a joint secretary handling Nepal in the mid-1990s. Koirala called up his old friend, urging India to get the Madhesis to support Poudel. He warned India that having the Maoists in power at this time would ensure that they remained in office if the CA ended without a Constitution having been finalized and that would have adverse consequences for Delhi. I met Koirala in the CA [Constituent Assembly] compound a few days later, and he confirmed to me that he had reservations about India’s position and felt that Delhi was making a mistake.

Delhi seems to have become worried by the multiple messages from friendly interlocutors. The political section of the Indian embassy now got into the act. They warned the Madhesi parties that the Maoists would deceive them, that their commitment to federalism was opportunistic, and that the parties of the plains must reconsider their options. The pressure could either have been born out of a desire to show to the NC that India was doing its bit, or born out of a genuine policy line to block the Maoists once again. Delhi ordered RAW, which was more open to the Maoists, to step back from the process.

Abdul said...

BD PM: A RAW agent was always in BNP office

http://www.dhakatribune.com/bangladesh/politics/2017/03/11/raw-agent-bnp/

The prime minister (Hasina) has said before that the Awami League lost the 2001 elections because it refused to allow the extraction of Bangladeshi gas by a US company for sale to India

BNP won the 2001 elections by giving India an undertaking to sell gas to them, the prime minister claimed on Saturday.
“The RAW agent here, he was always in Hawa Bhaban [BNP chairperson’s former political office] back then, as were the US embassy people,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said at an event in Dhaka on Saturday, reports BSS.
“So the anti-India rhetoric doesn’t really suit them.”

The prime minister has said before that the Awami League lost the 2001 elections because it refused to allow the extraction of Bangladeshi gas by a US company for sale to India.
She has said that former US president Jimmy Carter’s role in the August 2001 meeting between her and BNP chief Khaleda Zia was to broker this deal.
BNP Secretary General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir on Friday demanded that the government make public a defence memorandum that will reportedly be signed during the prime minister’s upcoming visit to India.
“It was Khaleda Zia who gave a ‘muchleka’ (undertaking) of selling gas to India, and by doing so, they came to power,” Hasina said.

Riaz Haq said...

In first winter stay, 1,800 Chinese troops camping at Doklam

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/in-first-winter-stay-1800-chinese-troops-camping-at-doklam/articleshow/62014175.cms

HIGHLIGHTS
Presence of Chinese troops perpetuated with construction of two helipads, upgraded roads, scores of pre-fabricated huts, shelters and stores

China is keen to usurp Doklam to add strategic depth to its narrow Chumbi Valley, which juts in between Sikkim and Bhutan

Around 1,600-1,800 Chinese troops have now virtually established a permanent presence in the Doklam+ area, near the Sikkim-Bhutan-Tibet trijunction, with the construction of two helipads, upgraded roads, scores of pre-fabricated huts, shelters and stores to withstand the freezing winter in the high-altitude region.
Indian security establishment sources said while India "achieved its strategic objective" of not letting China extend its existing road in Doklam (or the Dolam plateau) southwards towards the Jampheri ridge, the fallout has been "the almost permanent stationing of People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops in the region+ ".
"Earlier, PLA patrols would come to Doklam, which is disputed between China and Bhutan, between April-May and October-November every year to mark their presence and lay claim to the area before going back," said a source.
"Now, after the 73-day eyeball-to-eyeball troop confrontation at Doklam between India and China ended on August 28, the PLA troops have stayed put in what we consider to be Bhutanese territory for the first time this winter. But the status quo prevails at the earlier face-off site," he added.
This fits in with what the Army chief, General Bipin Rawat, meant when he warned in September that China would continue with its efforts to nibble away disputed territories through "salami slicing", muscle-flexing and other measures. With Indian troops deployed in tactically dominating positions in the trijunction region, China is keen to usurp Doklam to add strategic depth to its narrow Chumbi Valley, which juts in between Sikkim and Bhutan.
India in the past never objected to Chinese military patrols in Doklam but was forced to intervene in mid-June when PLA troops attempted to disrupt the status quo by constructing a road that would have had serious security implications for it.
Indian soldiers came down the ridge slope from their Doka La post to cross into Doklam on June 18 to physically block Chinese troops from constructing the road towards Jampheri ridge, which overlooks India's militarily vulnerable Siliguri corridor, or the so-called "Chicken's Neck" area.

Riaz Haq said...

Don't drag us into your politics, #Pakistan tells #Indian leaders as #Modi spins conspiracy theories in #Gujarat. #GujaratPollPakLink #India #BJP

http://www.thehindu.com/news/national/dont-drag-us-into-your-domestic-politics-pakistan-to-india/article21389702.ece

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday claimed at an election rally that there was an attempt by Pakistan to interfere in the Gujarat polls.

Islamabad on Monday said Indian leaders should not drag Pakistan into their politics during Gujarat poll campaign.

“India should stop dragging Pakistan into its electoral debate and win victories on own strength rather than fabricated conspiracies, which are utterly baseless and irresponsible,” Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal said on Twitter.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday claimed at an election rally that there was an attempt by Pakistan to interfere in the Gujarat polls.

Mr. Modi also alleged that suspended Congress leader Mani Shankar Aiyar had held a meeting at his house with former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, a former Vice-President, Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, and a former Pakistan foreign minister.

Allegations baseless, says Congress

The Congress has termed Mr. Modi's allegations “baseless”.

“Holding the country’s topmost post, Modiji is making baseless allegations. Modiji is worried, dejected, angry. Such a statement has no truth or fact, and is based on lies. Such a behaviour is unbecoming of a prime minister,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala told reporters on Sunday.

Union Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, condemning Pakistan's statement, said, "We are very proud of India's democracy and totally condemn this unwarranted statement from Pakistan. I wish to tell Pakistan that Indians are capable of contesting India's democracy on their own... India's Prime Minister is a popularly elected PM... and so is the BJP.''

Anonymous said...

Even the Bhutanese resent India.

http://wangchasangey.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-wolf-preys-on-lamb-for-its-own.html

Riaz Haq said...

#Maldives jabs #India again, signs power deal with #Pakistan http://toi.in/nVbwea/a24gk via @timesofindia