Nepal Hearts China (and India too)

Ever since the Maoists emerged as the largest party in the Constituent Assembly, the winds blowing in Kathmandu,Beijing and New Delhi have acquired strange odor. It wasn’t pleasant to begin with, “Mao” tag made it even fouler.

India is worried its backyard is being taken over by China, China wants to keep an eye on runaway Tibetans and contain’s India’s foot print; Nepal is stuck in between.

Media and think tank air heads, are not satisfied. They want Nepal squeezed and some more.Indian media has been more aggressive on this. Their reports on how a China friendly Nepal is a nightmare for India has more elements of childhood fantasy than facts in them.

Why this frenzy? Afterall Nepal has been a loyal friend of India(too loyal sometimes) for decades. The media and establishment in Delhi wasn’t too concerned about Nepal then. Our docile existence was acceptable. Now that the country wants to venture out and make new friends, suddenly New Delhi is concerned.

Just a like an ignored love, Nepal waited for India. Now she has a new suitor, India perhaps has realized her worth. But in playing with the two, is Nepal ratcheting up stakes too high?

Chinese Ambassador to Kathmandu recounted Beijing’s success in Tibet through an op-ed in Republica Daily-a sign that Kathmandu too wants the games changed. China in the town and will stay.India is also pushing for greater role. Nepal, unfortunately lacks leaders and diplomats who can delicately handle its changed position in the region. They are either too partisan in their friendship or couldn’t care less as long as their political life is safe.

Without an able handler, Nepal could be heading for a disaster in this high stakes game.

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