The death of a dozen Nepali security guards in Kabul on Monday is reminiscent of the killing of as many of our country men in Iraq in August 2004. The incident in Iraq sparked outrage back home. But the outrage was momentary.
Nepalis continue to go to Iraq, and even as there is talk of making Afghanistan a ‘no-go’ country, in all probabilities, Gurkhas will continue to go there. Those who have died will soon be forgotten, and Nepalis who have survived hardships at home will head to one of the most troubled spots on the planet.
A few months ago, when the so-called Islamic State murdered foreigners in cold blood, Nepalis were quick to condemn the attack, we even held candle-light vigils in protest. But Kathmanduites were too carried away to think about their countrymen who are in the Middle East. Could the IS attack Nepalis because we at home were condemning their actions? The demonstrators at Maitighar Mandala never thought of it that way.
We should stick to our policy of non-alignment. If possible, we should stay neutral.
We should understand that condemning the Taliban and the IS will only increase the risk of attacks on our countrymen living abroad. The fact is our condemning of their acts is not going to make them weaker. A weak country like Nepal should not anger the IS, or the Taliban. We should stick to our policy of non-alignment. If possible, we should stay neutral.
Let’s look at the world through our own eyes
The wars in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan are internal issues of the respective countries. These counties are far away from Nepal, and we have no need to take sides. Yes, Western powers have high stakes in the wars. That is why they are quick at handing out labels such as ‘terrorists’, ‘anti-democratic’, ‘autocratic’ and so on. While our government forces are not taking part in the war, our people are going to these conflict-affected areas to work as servants, and gatekeepers.
Read more: #KabulTalibanAttack
The situation demands that we look at the situation in these countries through our own eyes. The Western perspective is not going to be in Nepal’s interest. Our sole interest lies in the security of our people working abroad, and anything else should not concern us.
Let’s not repeat our mistakes
It would not be a hyperbole to say that Muslims around the world do not have negative opinion about Nepal. They regard Nepal, the land of the Buddha, as a country that does not take sides in international conflicts. But it seems that our government policies are tarnishing this image.
There have been several incidents like these that could jeopardise the safety of Nepalis abroad.
When the US attacked Afghanistan after the 2001 suicide attacks, then Prime Minister Deuba said his government would allow the US to use Nepali territory, if need be. The US never felt it necessary to use Nepali territory, but if it had decided otherwise, we could have earned a spot on the Taliban’s enemy list.
There have been several incidents like these that could jeopardise the safety of Nepalis abroad. One statement that raised eyebrows came from CPN (Mashal) general secretary Mohan Bikram Singh. When IS took control of Mosul in Iraq two years ago, he issued a statement extolling the ‘Iraqi revolution’.
It’s time political leaders in Nepal thought twice before making such statements. They should understand that for them, it could be one of the many statements they issue every day, but for Nepalis working on foreign soil, it could become a matter of life and death.
As a country that is struggling with its own domestic issues, Nepal should not take sides in international conflicts. There is nothing to gain, and a lot to lose.
Kabul attack: Nepali politicians’ faces ‘splattered’ with blood of fallen Nepali security guards
Kabul terrorist attack a cowardly act: Nepal Prime Minister KP Oli