IRS |Institute of Regional Studies

Islamabad

Contemporary Regional Developments in Nepal

21st - 27th February
  • China backed for Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and Prachanda-led Maoists alliance: Earlier this week, Nepal’s two communist parties -- Prime Minister KP Oli-led Communist Party of Nepal (UML) and Prachanda-led Maoists -- agreed to merge. They had fought elections together last November-December. They had won a resounding mandate. And with the proposed merger, the new Communist Party will become Nepal’s most powerful in decades -- with parliamentary strength, organisational depth, and penetration in all spheres of state and society. This alliance, and the merger, has strong Chinese backing.
    (Hindustan Times: 23.2.2018)
  • The Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN- UML), which earlier had opposed moves to amend the Constitution, is now willing to make changes in it.
    (ANI- 27.2.2018)
14th - 20th February
  • Nepal Has a New Prime Minister. K.P. Sharma Oli has been officially made Nepal’s new prime minister, bringing a prolonged and often-painful political transition to an end. Oli, a veteran communist leader, was sworn in as the 41th prime minister of Nepal on February 15, two months after the completion of elections. The formation of a new government was delayed due to the need to hold elections for the National Assembly, the upper house in Nepal’s bicameral parliament.
    (The Diplomat: 17.2.2018)
  • Want to deepen ties with China to get more leverage in dealings with India: Nepal PM: Expectations are high in China about Oli's government as he signed the Transit Treaty with Beijing during his first stint as Prime Minister in 2015 to end dependence on India for his landlocked country to revive the Budhi Gandaki project. The dam project was scrapped by the previous government headed by Sher Bahadur Deuba citing irregularities. China has been investing heavily in Nepal, blunting India's influence in the Himalayan country.
    (Times of India: 20.2.2018)
5th - 13th February
  • Two-thirds of Nepal’s trade takes place with India, the trade deficit is widening with the southern neighbor as export growth is low compared to skyrocketing import. The country exported goods worth Rs 23.07 billion in the first half of current fiscal 2017-18 against import of Rs 352.5 billion. Import growth from India stood at 15 per cent in the review period whereas export growth to India came in at 13 per cent.
    (The Himalyan)
30th Jan - 4th February
  • Nepal ban on women migrants violates rights: UN
    Nepal's restrictions on woman migrating for work are discriminatory and inconsistent with international law, a United Nations rights official said on Feb 5 during a visit to the country. Nepal last year introduced a ban on women working as domestic helpers in the Gulf, one of various laws passed over the last decade to protect female migrant workers from sexual exploitation. “These bans are ineffective and create the consequence that women migrate through irregular channels and become victims of trafficking," said the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, Felipe Gonzalez Morales.
    (Channel News Asia)
  • Sushma Swaraj’s surprise visit to Nepal sends a positive signal despite past tensions with Nepal’s new prime minister
    For the Communist Party of Nepal (Unifed Marxist-Leninist) (CPN-UML) leader (and presumptive prime minister in the new coalition government) K.P. Oli, a friendly relationship with India is must. Two-thirds of Nepal’s trade is with India; the country is heavily dependent on its larger neighbor to meet its everyday needs. For India, it is necessary to build cordial relation with the new government in Nepal to minimize growing Chinese influence in Nepal and protect its interest. Swaraj’s visit was first step toward rapprochement. As the first high-level foreign guest to visit Nepal after the successful conclusion of three levels of elections — local, provincial, and federal — Swaraj traveled to Kathmandu to formally congratulate the Left Alliance for its impressive victory in the national parliament polls.
    (the Diplomat)
  • Nepal’s last monarch Gyanendra Shah travelled to Odisha on 5th Feb to participate in an event dedicated to saving India’s indigenous cows. Shah had met Uttar Pradesh chief minister Yogi Adityanath in January and held talks on reviving the Hindu state and identity of Nepal.
    (Hindustan Times)

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