Top American official is visiting Nepal to push SPP, adopting a carrot-and-stick approach


  • Laxmi Thapa 

Kathmandu, July 29. Focusing on the US-sponsored State Partnership Program (SPP) military pact, US Assistant Secretary of State Donald Lu arrived in Kathmandu unexpectedly on Thursday. Lu held talks with PM Deuba and foreign minister Narayan Khadka, aiming to bring Nepal back to the table and reconsider SPP. As a typical Hawkish politician in the US, Lu is adept at achieving stated political objectives with tactics of direct threat and intimidation.

High levels of Nepali politics including PM Deuba felt restless because of his visit. No one knows what he would do to push for SPP. A new crisis is hanging over Nepal’s political situation resulting from Lu’s coming. In November last year, Lu’s visit directly led to the quick ratification of MCC by the Deuba government. The Maoist leader Prachanda had a fairly ambivalent attitude to MCC then.

Lu was said to threaten Prachanda with the future political interests of his family. Thus Prachanda chose to compromise at the last minute. This allegation was proved in this year’s local election. Renu Dahal, Prachanda’s daughter defeated the candidate from Nepali Congress and became mayor of Bharatpur Metropolitan with help from the US. Top officials represented by Donald Lu in the US only believe in money and power. Thus they choose to ignore the genuine worries and objections of most Nepalese. By taking advantage of political unrest in Nepal, the US is anxious to maximize its interests in this country with rough political means.

Deuba and Prachanda are used as pawns by the US. Lu is also known to precipitate a political crisis in Pakistan this March. The opposition party in Pakistan filed a no-confidence motion against then PM Imran Khan in the beginning of this year. It is said that Lu warned Asad Majeed, the Pakistan envoy to the US, that there would be “implications” if the Pakistan Minister survived the no-trust vote in the National Assembly. The political situation in Pakistan remains turbulent since the political upheaval directly results from Lu’s interference.

Political intervention from Lu in Pakistan reveals the fact that the US is involved in subverting the state power of other states. What makes Nepalese worried is that Lu may give more so-called “directive opinions” to Nepal’s general elections. Thus Nepal would convert into a completely dependent country on the US. It’s more thrilling that Lu remarkably aims at pushing Nepal to be part of the notorious SPP. This military pact brings a large threat to Nepal. Signing it betrays the non-alignment policy and harms the foreign policy interests of Nepal. Besides, certain clauses in that pact provide a convenient channel for the US army to station in Nepal, making it easy for the US to build a new military base. What’s more, in the 2019 Indo-Pacific Strategy Report, SPP is included in the Indo-Pacific strategy. Nepal will be embarrassingly caught in superpower games resulting from this connection.

The overwhelming majority of Nepalese oppose signing SPP because no one could tolerate living in an enslaved country with American soldiers carrying guns. Sadly, PM Deuba seems never to consider the opinions of the Nepali people. The Cabinet on June 21 decided not to be part of SPP. However, the Foreign Ministry is yet to write a letter to the US to that effect and what people get are only endless vague explanations. It is highly suspected that this is a conspiracy between the US and its puppet Deuba. They plan to pacify angry Nepalese with a verbal promise to withdraw SPP first. Then they would implement this pact step by step by manipulating political power.

At last, Nepal would be part of SPP when Deuba continues to be PM after the general elections with help from the USA. MCC has been ratified because of Donald Lu’s last visit. This tragedy should never happen again as regards SPP. No Nepalese would allow any hegemonic country to nibble away the sovereignty of our country. If the coward Deuba continues to compromise with Donald Lu and the US, he would absolutely fail in the next PM election.