‘Growing geopolitical interests posing challenges to national security’

Kathmandu, May 28: Increased geopolitical interests and internal conflicts have posed serious challenges to the national security, experts said at a national seminar in Kathmandu Friday.

“Security is not just about the absence of fear but is also related to the livelihood guarantee and the state’s ability to exercise legitimate monopoly of power, which form essential preconditions to subdue internal chaos, break criminal networks and forge partnership with international community,” they viewed.

The seminar entitled ‘Implementation of National Security Policy in Nepal’ was organised against the backdrop of the recent adoption of national security by the government.

Former Police Council Nepal, the Relief Trust, the Peace and Development Studies and FES, Office Nepal organised the event.

Opening the seminar, Minister for Home Affairs Shakti Basnet called for synthesizing the universal values of democracy with the specific needs of the nation to effectively apply the national security.

“The ICT-induced socio-economic changes, geopolitical considerations, globalization and seismic political upheavals have emerged as chief factors in defining national security,” said Minister Basnet.

He noted that broader national outlook and self-reliant economy buttressed national security.

“Citizens need to demonstrate patriotic feeling while the political parties must rise above petty interests to implement national security robustly,” added Basnet.

Echoing Basnet’s views, former minister Lal Babu Pandit said that every Nepali should nurture a feeling of Nepaliness.

“We need to expose those who pursue political career in the backing of foreign aid and blessing. Neighbouring nations spend around Rs 200 million to grant scholarships to the offspring of Nepalese politicians, bureaucrats and senior security officials,” claimed Pandit. 

He said that no one had right to demand the secession of the nation in the name of press freedom or human rights.

FES Nepal Office head Dev Raj Dahal said that the new security architecture required fulfilling human development, security-citizens ties, economic, diplomatic, military and communications effectiveness, anticipatory planning and security alertness and early disaster preparedness.

“The conventional threat posed by inter-state conflict has become moderated while intra-state conflicts have increased with the emergence of critical ‘minority’ stoked by both informational revolution and geopolitical penetration. Now the time has come to bind the fragmentation of Nepalese society, weaving individuals, families and communities and strengthening social connections of citizens with the state,” added Dahal.

Vice chair of Former Police Council Nepal Dr Chuda Bahadur Shrestha said that effective implementation of national security became urgent in view of several internal challenges that posed threat to the country’s security and sovereignty.

Hiranya Lal Shrestha, Rajendra Thapa, Monish Bajracharya and Ramesh Bhandari had presented their working papers at the programme attended by the representatives from security agencies, bureaucracy, civil society and media.



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