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Saturday, 10 September 2016

Jay Swabhiman: Foreign relations of Nepal

Posted by Anup Baral September 10, 2016 :
A landlocked country, Nepal is sandwiched between two giant neighbors–China and India. To the north, the Himalayas constituted a natural and mostly impassible frontier, and beyond that was the border with China. Nepal is landlocked by India on three sides and China’s Tibet Autonomous Region to the north. West Bengal’s narrow Siliguri Corridor or Chicken’s Neck separate Nepal and Bangladesh. To the east are India and Bhutan. Nepal depends on India for goods transport facilities and access to the sea, even for most goods imported from China. During the British Raj (1858-1947), Nepal sought geostrategic isolation. This traditional isolationism partially was the product of the relative freedom the country enjoyed from external intervention and domination. From the mid-nineteenth century, when Britain emerged as the unchallenged power in India and the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) in China was in decline, Nepal made accommodations with Britain on the best possible terms. Without surrendering autonomy on internal matters, Nepal received guarantees of protection from Britain against external aggression and interference. London also considered a steady flow of Gurkha recruits from Nepal as vital to support Britain’s security in India and its other colonial territories. In the 1950s, Nepal began a gradual opening up and a commitment to a policy of neutrality and nonalignment. At the 1973 summit of the Nonaligned Movement in Algiers, Late King Birendra proposed that “Nepal, situated between two of the most populous countries of the world, wishes her frontiers to be declared a zone of peace.” In 1975, during the coronation address of Late King Birendra, he formally asked other countries to endorse his proposal. Since then, the concept of Nepal as a zone of peace has become a main theme of Kathmandu’s foreign policy. As of mid-1991, Nepal had been endorsed as a zone of peace by more than 110 nations. Many of these countries also recommended a regional approach to peace as the goal. Without the endorsement of India and the former Soviet Union, however, the prospect of broader international acceptance was dim. At the beginning of the 1990s, Nepal had established diplomatic relations with approximately 100 countries. Nepal was an active member of the United Nations (UN) and participated in a number of its specialized agencies. Nepal also was a founding member of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) and had successfully negotiated several bilateral and multilateral economic, cultural, and technical assistance programs. Because of its geographical proximity to and historical links with China and India, Nepal’s foreign policy was focused mainly on maintaining close and friendly relations with these two countries and on safeguarding its national security and independence. Nepal’s relations with the United States, Europe, and the Soviet Union showed new signs of vitality in 1991.

Traveling gives us the opportunity to disconnect from our regular life. You get to forget your problems/issues for a few weeks, it can also help you figure things out that you would not have understood without the distance traveling can give you. We all have crazy schedules, work and a family to take care of, going away alone or with some friends can give you distance and perhaps even make you realize how important these people are for you. Like the saying says: we never know what we have until we lose it.

Another great benefit is the relaxation you get to do. It’s nice to live life to its fullest and enjoy a stress free time with yourself. Going on vacation lets us recharge our “batteries” by disconnecting us from our regular life. When we come back we feel invigorated and we are happy to be back in our day to day routine. It’s a very good stress remover that has a lot more to give than most people are willing to accept.

Traveling increases our knowledge and widens our perspective. To view new customs, different ways of living is fantastic for the mind. It gives us a new perspective about life and especially our life, it can help us change some of our habits or even create new ones. When I travel I usually make it a point to try new food, some cultures don’t have fries in their diet and they are all skinny, others use spices to give taste and not oils or fats. Discovering different values and ways to get by in life is really interesting. You also need to visit exotic new places and discover what this wonderful world has to offer.