Nepal’s Current National Security Paradigm and It’s Importance
Phatya Bahadur Khadka
(Retired Lt Colonel, Nepali Army)
Nepal is a landlocked nation which is surrounded by two economic and military powers. Great King Prithvi Narayan shah once said “Nepal is a small yam between two boulders”. It reflects that an equidistance with the both countries is a daunting task. Apart from this, security relating to the Nation means a lot and it is a very serious concern and nation’s duty is to protect its citizens from possible chronic fear, unrest, disaster and crisis happening suddenly at home by internal and external factors that definitely hinders or interrupts the quality of people’s life and the health of the Nation too.
Particularly, National security can be defined as the government’s ability to protect its citizens from all threats and dangers which includes military attacks, crime and terrorism, economic security, environmental security, food security, energy security and cyber security. In order to deal with all security risks and hazards with respect to the people and nation. Every Nation has its own typical security policy so that it can fight against adverse security situation caused by various factors. A national security policy is a legal document that provides particular parameter to protect its citizens and policy itself is no doubt a guiding principle for transforming the national security.
In the context of Nepal, the threats include such as illegal border crossings, border encroachment, fraud, illegal immigration, transnational crime, refugees and IDPs problem, narcotics and drugs, money laundering, corruption, sexual violence and environmental degradation are in rising state.
Nepal is the one of the most prone nations for natural disasters and specifically, the earthquake. It also reminds us about the Mega Earthquake-2015 made the people and country ravaged in terms of property and thousands of human lives. Therefore, Nepali government should have a clear mission and vision to protect the nation and its people from social unrest caused by crisis or disaster.
Nepal should initiate research and appropriate studies on the factors such as safety and security threats and should carry out stronger policy to prevent imminent threats and should plan and implement the policies especially targeting on how to prevent them in the event of actual crisis which should be based on the National Security Plan. If the National interests are threatened, it obvious that our whole national security strategy fall into a greater risk that causes an adverse impact to the people, nation and environment as well.
Moreover, Nepal is one of the landlocked countries in the world and has a complex challenge of using access and approach to the sea. It has no access to the sea and it has a plenty of issues with its close neighbors to deal with. The geopolitical situated nature of Nepal has become a strategic importance to its neighbors and other countries are in attraction towards its natural beauty, natural resources and its location matters a lot to them. Therefore, our neighbors and other nations are eying for strategic interests over its unique geopolitical location and proximity. Therefore, it is very important to make ourself strong enough economically viable first to deal with all the imminent challenges and risks that are impacting our nation adversely and it’s a great barrier for discouraging our drive of development and other aspects as well. Security and foreign policy should be updated and reviewed in accordance with the time and the demands of our nation at the present juncture and should analyze and examine effectively “Does this National Security Policy or Strategy working well in order to meet the new challenges seen in the horizon. It is very essential to ensure that what type of security policy needed to put into practice, if the policy considers essential traits, it can go for a long way to address all the issues and security parameters required by the Nation and the people.
Now a days, still, there is a direct and indirect competition and confrontation among the nations for geopolitical influence on each other. In the context of Nepal, because of Nepal rich in its natural resources, strategic borders, road links and its geopolitical situation to the South Asia has become a great concern for our neighboring nations and other countries as well. Similarly, the geopolitical location and strategic setting seem to be important for our neighboring. Because of this, Nepal has been falling like a prey to and is enduring some complex challenges to maintain security concern and from time to time, security of Nepal has been disturbed that caused people to suffer a lot.
Despite of these various issues and constraints, Nepal must update its a foreign policy and national security plan to mitigate the challenges and threats lurking here and there. Moreover, its utmost responsibility is to maintain a fruitful foreign relation with its neighbors and other countries to sort it out and to manage all security and diplomatic challenges unheard.
At the present context, we, the people of Nepal and the Government should collaborate in a true spirit of harmony with stakeholders, partners, Nepali Army, Nepal Police, Armed Police Forces, NID and government stakeholders to make the nation safe and stable, a greater concern is that it has to safeguard its citizens at any cost so that nation can be strong with a great vigor and motivation to fight against various security challenges, risks and threats. That’s the reason, the downtrodden, disadvantaged, segregated and people who actually live under poverty line should be given first priority in society to create a sustainable community of great inclusiveness, security, responsible and united as it can foster true spirt of harmony amongst the all brothers and sisters by including all castes, creed, race, community, intersections and all genders as well, it should be translated into a reality while initiating National priority strategy as per the time and circumstances.
As far as the National security is concerned, specifically, the core duties of the government to engage seriously in establishing good policing, viable intervention for gaining an effective justice and rule of law for particularly the suffered and affected that gives a sigh of relief and comfortable situation. Now, the childhood socialization, socio-cultural upbringing, right nurturing, social interaction, conscious raising and uplifting the level of the education for the formative years of child gives a great leverage to the sustainment of National Security concern. If child is socialized in a worng way, it mould him/her in such a way that lacks patriotism, honesty, loyalty and seriousness towards the society and community, later years, it affects security concern of the Nation. Therefore, it is very important properly nurturing and transforming their personality at the earliest and low quality of education at childhood have turned the young generations into mess and are compelled to work as a cheap labor in gulf and other parts of the world for the bread and butter only and do not have leadership, confidence ,dedication and hard work to serve nation with pride and are unable to lead leadership and political positions and only, the numbers do not matters but it matters, only the quality of dedication and contribution to the nation during the time of crisis and unrest and disaster. As a result, most of the adult and people are found to be indulged into bad habits such as crime and violence which definitely undermine our national security.
Government should intensify a high level of moral and ethical assurances to intervene for ensuring safety, security and rule of law and justice for the all citizens. There must be an intervention to ensure safety, security and justice for all citizens that will encourage to foster a kind of consolidation in the right path towards resilient Nepal.
Nepali Army, the glorious defense forces with its unique legacy including other security forces like NP, APF and NID, all play a pivotal role to protect the nations with the help of their assigned duties and responsibilities. At present, no military threats, but we cannot ascertain when the threat and danger will come into play?, a strong, well equipped, greatly motivated and disciplined military forces with an adequate number can play a determining role in protecting people and Nation. Likewise, the security forces on the other hand that keep a great importance in terms of maintaining rule of law, crime and border regulation. Government should be rational, logic, precise and conscious enough to determine the role and strength of the defense forces and other security forces as far as the situation and context are concerned. In the peace time, the government should keep on polishing defense force, security forces and relevant government authorities and stakeholders in order to meet with the future eventualities and should equip these stakeholders with the good quality of human resources and other essential enhancers that can create a stronger and productive force to establish as the major shield of National security.
On the other hand, Nation should be ready to protect its people against chronic fear and ready to react promptly against sudden interuptions which derail the quality of daily life. As far as the National security of 21st century is concern, threats such environmental degradation, transnational crime fraud, illegal immigration and corruption. Besides, some areas of interests such as environmental security, personal security, food security, social security, economic security and health of people and Nation both matters a lot for stabilizing national security in the right direction.
Because of Nepal’s geopolitical importance, interests and soft intervention by the various sections happening frequently either internally and externally. It cannot be denied that the overall Nepal’s National security landscape rests on domestic social, political, cultural, economic, bureaucratic leadership, military, security forces, patriotism and loyalty towards the Nation do determine how strong the National Security is? The early and formative years socialization that makes child symptoms to be an agile and an untiring citizen or fatigued human resources which could be not unproductive for the Nation in fact. Foreign and diplomatic skills of the political leaders and stakeholders to deal with a plenty of issues and can they stand on the logics, rationalism and precise for the national interests matters a lot for the transformation of National Security. Well educated and well cultured population with positive sentiments and vigor play a pivotal role in translating security concern of the state and people. At present, the economic situation of the nation seems to be in downfall stage and GDP growth is below the expectation level as a result it is a bad omen for maintaining security concern of the nation economically. In addition to it, it needs to improve on economic improvement and bring some fruitful steps to consolidate the National economy.
In conclusion, as mentioned above, several new threats and dangers are lurking regularly that will impact the Nation and its people negatively and it is very obvious that it will definitely put the nation at risk the times come by. Therefore, the government should initiate a proactive and reactive approach with the help of all concerned and stakeholders for dealing with new emerging dangers and threats so that the Nation and citizens can be protected, healthy and safe. Diplomatic and foreign relation with neighbors and other countries should be materialized to impact positively. Furthermore, the economic upliftment of the nation is very essential to safeguard the citizens and nation as well. Government should guide and keep on polishing defense forces and security forces to tackle with imminent threat and danger. Similarly, government should motivate its partners and stakeholders to act promptly to address challenges and should consolidate the support system to safeguard our nation including all the citizens and particularly poor and disadvantaged. Indeed, sensitizing people and raising conscious of people and stakeholders in one hand and on the other hand, if it should regularly update its security policy towards addressing the gaps envisioned in National security parameters that can definitely give a sigh of relief to the citizens and Nation in particular.