Parliament is the only panacea « Khabarhub
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Parliament is the only panacea


17 December 2021  

Time taken to read : 8 Minute


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The Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) Nepal project, MCCompact-Nepal is a gift of the American people to the people of Nepal with the genuine intention of reducing poverty through economic growth.

Hence, there was no apparent reason to be suspicious about it and raise an objection. I, for one, have failed to find any hidden agenda in the project, as some of its detractors in Nepal seem to be trumpeting about by launching a relentless disinformation campaign on the street.

An infrastructure development project that has no security element in it has been wrongly and unnecessarily seen from the geo-strategic and geo-security angle and conjectured as a serious threat to Nepal’s national security and independence. These, I think, are totally baseless assumptions.

Those protesting, writing and speaking against the MC Compact Nepal consider the MCC project as an internal and external threat to Nepal’s independence, sovereignty and security, while completely closing their eyes on the economic prosperity the MCC’s Nepal project may help to bring about.

It is thus beyond the comprehension of any well-informed and impartial person how a small project with the sum of 500million US dollars can be construed as an internal or external security threat and therefore should not be implemented.

They are busy misleading the gullible public by spreading disinformation campaigns and portraying the MCC’s Nepal infrastructure development project as the symbol of American imperialism, thereby pushing the country towards the path of destruction.

These protestors assume that American presence in Nepal would make China feel uneasy and Nepal may end up being caught in the great power game and rivalry, which is totally unfounded.

This is reading too much and too far into the MCC project. China and America are understandably competitors in many political and strategic issues.

At the same time, they have been engaged constructively as economic and trade partners in many other areas of mutual interests.

These two countries are also seen cooperating and working together on many issues with global consequences, such as climate change and international terrorism, among others.

One wonders how China, as powerful a country as the US, should view this small development project without any security elements embedded in it, as a threat to its security. The enemies of the MC Compact- Nepal are simply telling a cock and bull story to mislead the people!

Of course, both India and China want to play safe in Nepal as far as the involvement of the US or any third power in Nepal is concerned. India considers Nepal as its traditional strategic backyard.

It always feels uncomfortable with the involvement of a third country and a powerful country at that, in Nepal. Understandably, the American presence in Nepal may not be strategically palatable to China, as well.

But, it is the people of Nepal who should be in the driver’s seat in terms of deciding what is in the best interest of Nepal; certainly not China, neither India nor any other country. Even if they may try, we shouldn’t allow them to influence us the way they may wish to, through the display of bold, balanced and smart diplomacy.

Parliament is the place

Some people question why America is unwilling to leave the project despite such a widespread public protest against it and why it is piling pressure on the government to get it endorsed by the Parliament.

But, the fact of the matter is that it is not the US that is putting pressure. America has nothing to lose if it were to leave. It is the government of Nepal and many well-meaning development experts who have been asking the US not to.

It is Nepal that requires the project the most, because of the many benefits that may be derived from the project.

First, Nepal will stand to benefit from the best and latest state-of-the-art US technology being introduced to the infrastructure project.

Secondly, if completed within the stipulated time, without incurring additional cost, it can become a good lesson-learnt experience for our government in terms of how a big project can be carried out and completed in time, with stringent fiscal discipline, a clearly articulated timeline and transparent working style.

Thirdly, completion of the project peacefully and well in time will shatter all the myths, disinformation campaigns spread by the haters of the MCC Nepal project.  As a result, Nepal-US relations will be further strengthened at the grassroots levels.

Hence, wisdom lies that the fate of as important a project as the MC Compact Nepal must not be decided based on the pressure and clamor of unruly crowds on the street, mostly misguided!

Nepal government should not be intimidated by the ongoing street protests and decide to leave the Project.  The only appropriate place to make a final decision on this matter is Nepal’s National Parliament.

Hence, the MCC’s Nepal Compact be tabled in the Parliament for a thorough, open and transparent debate and deliberation.

Yet, sadly, many gullible people have still been blindly following these crooks! These haters of the MCC project must not be allowed to continue with their hate campaign against our longtime and well-meaning friend.

It is only the National Parliament of Nepal that has the sovereign right whether to receive or return the project. It is good that the government is reportedly placing the MCC’s Nepal project before the parliament.

It is the most correct course that the government has decided to take and it must not back down under any pressure from any quarter.

Conclusion

It is sad those political leaders and their followers who have always been dying for an American visa, craving for carrying American iPhone as a status symbol and doing everything possible to send their children to the US for education, are the very ones now seen at the forefront in the protest against the MCC project.

Others joining the bandwagon are the crowds of innocent and ignorant people at the bidding of their masters.

They are busy misleading the gullible public by spreading disinformation campaigns and portraying the MCC’s Nepal infrastructure development project as the symbol of American imperialism, thereby pushing the country towards the path of destruction.

These were the very leaders at the forefront in doling out the sweet dreams of Republicanism to the people, as a panacea for removing poverty and underdevelopment from Nepal.

Now, we have seen with our own eyes and experienced right under our noses how these political leaders and their acolytes have made the Republic Nepal the ladder to get to power and position, only to enrich themselves and their political hangers-on.

Yet, sadly, many gullible people have still been blindly following these crooks! These haters of the MCC project must not be allowed to continue with their hate campaign against our longtime and well-meaning friend.

The ongoing campaign of disinformation and hate must not prevail. The National Parliament must act and act soon, on this issue with courage, foresight and wisdom.

(The writer is former Chief of Protocol)

Publish Date : 17 December 2021 08:22 AM

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