Diplomatic Directive of Bibeksheel Sajha Party – revolutionary step of political maturity
Nepal and Nepali politics has suffered a lot due to immature diplomatic behavior of political leaders. We’ve seen our leaders disgracing the national pride by indulging in several inappropriate meetings. Such meetings have been vehemently criticized by the people but things haven’t changed much in political level.
Since most of the Nepali politicians got into politics in the mood of political revolution / movement and since our democracy isn’t mature yet, diplomatic protocol seems to be very new terminology. During the political movements, they met all possible foreign diplomats and officers and made best efforts to gain international support in their movement. They were able to get necessary foreign support as well and got success in the political movement.
A decade after the success of ‘People’s Movement II’ and introduction of republic has taught us great lessons in diplomatic term. Nepali politics was clearly micro-managed by foreign intelligence agency. Nepali leaders lost all respect in international political arena. National sovereignty was clearly questionable. In short, that decade was the complete diplomatic crisis for Nepal.
The surprisingly spectacular rise of national pride in our political leaders in September 2015 and exceptional endurance of Nepali citizens during months of embargo ended the decade long diplomatic crisis. I’m and we need to be grateful to Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli for leading this diplomatic revolution. But, entire happenings would be worthwhile only if we learn good lessons from that crisis and move ahead with necessary preparations in handling diplomatic relationship.
Bibeksheel Sajha Party recently introduced Diplomatic Directive for its leaders. This document has clearly directed their leaders about the protocols to be followed while engaging in diplomatic meetings. I find this directive of Bibeksheel Sajha Party highly commendable and revolutionary in Nepali politics.
What does Diplomatic Directive of Bibeksheel Sajha Party include?
Directive has forbid the leaders to take part in the programs of foreign embassies unless approved by the Foreign Affairs Department of the party. To make such meetings transparent and accountable, approval and direct involvement of the Foreign Affairs Department mandatory for any diplomatic meeting. Meeting with foreign intelligence agencies has been strict forbidden and the unexpected meetings have to be notified to the department.
Here’s the diplomatic directive of Bibeksheel Sajha Party:
For decades, the meetings the political parties and their leaders have had with members of Nepal-based diplomatic missions and intelligence operatives have generated misgivings that they stand in the way of Nepal’s self-respect, stability and development. Similarly, the direct-indirect roles played by international NGOs in the country’s politics, too, have been controversial.
The unnecessary relation with foreigners is an important yet complicated issue in Nepalese politics. Thus, in order to highlight the matter and make them transparent, we have felt it necessary to issue this public guideline. We hope other parties and their leaders, too, follow similar guideline.
1. Unless otherwise approved by the Foreign Affairs Department of the party, or in case of formal programs, no Central Committee member shall take part in other programs by any embassy.
2. Approval by the Foreign Affairs Department is mandatory for any meeting of political nature with any member of foreign embassy or any foreigner. Another leader designated by the Foreign Affairs Department shall also be present in any such meeting.
3. Any meeting so approved by the Foreign Affairs Department shall take place either at the party office of Bibeksheel Sajha or at a neutral venue.
4. Members of the Central Committee shall not invite ambassador or foreign staff in their places of residence. Prior approval from the Foreign Affairs Department shall be required if such meeting has to take place.
5. Concerned desk of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs shall be notified by the party about any meeting with any member of foreign embassy approved by the party’s Foreign Affairs Department. If necessary, representation by the ministry official shall be requested in such meetings.
6. Central Committee members of the party are forbidden from meeting any members from intelligence agencies.
7. Any unexpected meeting shall be immediately notified to the Foreign Affairs Department of the party.
8. If any embassy or INGO sends a direct invitation to a central leader of the party to any program that has political meaning or implication, s/he shall request them to send the invitation via party headquarters. The Foreign Affairs Department of the party shall decide whether and whom to send on behalf of the party.
9. For programs that do not have political meaning or implication, simple notification to the Foreign Affairs Department shall be enough. Such meetings can take place on self-decision but the Foreign Affairs Department shall be consulted in case of any doubt.
10. If necessary, the Foreign Affairs Department may solicit counsel on sensitive matters from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, independent foreign policy experts or former protocol officers of the Ministry.
11. In matters not listed in this guideline or in case of any complications, Central Committee members shall notify the Foreign Affairs Department and the latter shall take the final call. The level to which these guidelines will be enforced shall be determined in course of party’s expansion.
12. Since no party has issued guidelines like these before, in case of any difficulty that arises in course of its implementation and in case of any possible effect on relations with foreigners, Central Committee members may request the latter to understand the limitations put on them by this guideline.
13. If these guidelines are breached, the Foreign Affairs Department may seek clarification and recommend for disciplinary action.
I applaud the leaders of Bibeksheel Sajha Party for introducing and putting ahead this document in public domain. I wish this document will become the milestone in setting diplomatic protocols in Nepali politics. I request all other political parties to introduce similar diplomatic protocols for their leaders.