By Ishwar Dev Khanal (KATHMANDU, 3 March) – A disturbing trend has emerged in Nepal when it comes to appointment of ambassadors, who actually represent the country. Political parties lately have adopted an approach that does not match with the international practice. The coalition government led by Prime Minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal alias Prachanda smugly nominated a few ambassadors recently – drawing wide criticism.
If anyone asks me what the recently nominated Nepalese ambassadors have in common, my answer would be: “They are intellectual personalities (as their respective parties consider, not the intellectual strata) – who do not have anything extraordinary to represent Nepal’s interest. Furthermore, majority of the Nepalese populace knows nothing or very little about them. These “intellectuals”, who are not usually people of high repute or distinguished personalities – barring a few – are representing the country’s interest. This is the irony!
The plum ambassadorial post has been a political position designated by a handful of political top notches rewarded to – can I call them ‘incompetent’ people? Questions might arise – Has the definition and implication of an ambassador changed? Perhaps “yes”. For instance, if you have a hasty look at the recent ambassadorial nomination, the question pops instantly is: Are these guys career diplomats?
Those getting the plum positions based on party quotas, nepotism and favoritism are in fact not career diplomats and several of these “forced-diplomats”, except a few can’t speak fluent English. These going-to-be-ambassadors have been nominated by way of their staunch and loyal behavior toward their respective parties. However, they are heading towards holding the distinguished position of Nepalese ambassadors representing this Himalayan Republic!
Question is: Will they give their time and energy for the country – to help build lasting diplomatic relations? Not sure because they have been accused of grabbing the posts either in exchange of large sums of money or being a loyal party cadre besides nepotism and favoritism. A very few newly nominated ambassadors, including Prof Dr. Biswambar Pyakurel are genuine. Not an irony!
Criticisms were rife that some of the previous ambassadors did nothing more than sullying Nepal’s good name. Some people and political aspirants might not agree to my arguments. Mind you, it does not bother me. But the question is why were these people appointed in the first place? In fact, the repercussions of these appointments will be felt very soon.