Ludicrous ‘equidistance’ policy will take us nowhere

South Asia is currently gripped by the wave of heat emanating from the Pulwama incident. India has resorted to several actions against Pakistan, from diplomatic as well as other punitive measures. For example, it has reduced the volume of water flowing to Pakistani territory from three rivers in the east of Sindhu. Similarly, at the initiation of India, the UN Security Council has proposed action against Masood Azhar, leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, a terrorist outfit operating from Pakistan.

India has introduced punitive tariff barrier and stopped importing many commodities from Pakistan. Even merchants and farmers have stood against Pakistan. Farmers from Gujarat have stopped exporting vegetables to Pakistan. To the consequence, the price of tomato in Pakistan raised above Rs.200 per kg.

In this context, Nepal expressed sorrow over the incident that claimed 40 lives of Indian Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Surprisingly, Nepal has failed to raise voice at the diplomatic level to take action against the group involved in the incident. For example, it should have issued an official release demanding stern action against the culprits. It is saddening to note that we, as a UN member, could not even voice the issue raised by the UN Security Council itself.

Since Azhar’s group already claimed the responsibility Nepal should not have hesitated in demanding stern action against him. Azhar is the same terrorist outfit member who had hijacked a plane from Nepal and taken it to Kandahar of Afghanistan in 1999. Why should Nepal hesitate to demand action against him? Or is Nepal against India? If so, is it now in a state of declaring a cold war with India?

We have equidistance foreign policy. The question is not whether what kind of relationship we have with India or Pakistan. The point is that we should demand action against those involved in terrorist activities from a jurisdictional point of view.

The question of an equidistance foreign policy is ridiculous. No other countries either India or Japan, or Vietnam or Pakistan or Iran or Saudi Arabia or Laos…have an equidistance foreign policy. Claiming of a foreign policy of equidistance is nothing more than hypocrisy.