One of the oldest nations, Nepal has been able to keep her independence and sovereignty intact throughout the history. Located at the important geostrategic territory of South Asia, Nepal passed through a series of ground-breaking changes – foreign invasions, national unification and oodles of internal political upheavals. She fought wars with both British and Chinese Empires but never buckled under any exterior attack or blockade. Overcoming all adversities and survival threats, she has demonstrated indomitable spirit, courage, ingenuity and resilience to preserve her dignity, territorial integrity, security and prosperity of her citizens. She has shown that even a small nation, surrounded by the mammoth neighbours, can well maintain her sovereignty and balanced ties with them. At the same time, her smallness does not preclude her from contributing to world peace, harmony, security and cooperation.
In her new foreign policy, it has been stated that the country will conduct its independent and balanced ties with neighbouring countries based on the principles of the non-alignment, UN Charter, Panchsheel and international laws and conventions. The relations with neighbours and other friendly countries will be guided by the philosophy of equal sovereignty, mutual respect and shared benefits. It has emphasised protecting the international border. The country will resolve boundary issues through peaceful diplomatic means and dialogue based on treaties, agreements, historical documents, evidences and facts. The integrated foreign policy document reflects the nation’s historical insight, enlightenment tradition and inner vitality that enables her to keep every challenge – be it perceived or real – at bay.
The other day Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli reminded both domestic and foreign audience of the nation’s strength, foreign policy vision and aspiration to foster peace, cooperation and mutual harmony. Giving interviews to two separate Indian television channels, he defined the true meaning of sovereignty and smashed the illusion that the sovereignty of a small nation is constrained by her size and capacity to deliver at home and abroad. He said: “Even though Nepal is smaller than India in terms of geography and population, both the countries are equal sovereign nations.” In a similar vein, relations between the two countries can’t be measured as bigger or smaller one, according to the PM. In ancient times, relations between the nations were determined by the brute force that they exercised to govern their lands but in modern times, the relations between the nations are directed by a set of mutual principles and values.
PM Oli has rightly underscored that this is the age of independence and mutual respect, so everyone should act and behave accordingly. He did not mince words when he said that Limpiyadhura, Lipulek and Kalapani areas, located at the east of the Mahakali River belonged to Nepal as per the Sugauli Treaty. These strategic places have been controlled by India since 1962, and Nepal has launched diplomatic initiatives to take them back. Reiterating Nepal’s balanced foreign policy, Oli clarified that Nepal would not use the India-China dispute for her benefit. He struck a note of optimism that Nepal and India would sort out all differences in 2021 based on the principle of equal sovereignty and vexing issues would no longer be there. It is in the interest of both nations to resolve the bilateral problems amicably, enabling them to pursue smooth multidimensional cooperation and promote stability in the region.