KATHMANDU, April 22: The government has formed a 16-member task force to review the current foreign policy to make it compatible with the changed national and international context.
The Task Force headed by Foreign Minister Prakash Sharan Mahat has been entrusted with the responsibility to prepare a document of "dynamic foreign policy" of Nepal within four months. The panel consists of experts from various fields including security, finance, foreign policy, labor and law.
The decision of the government to form the panel to review Nepal's foreign policy comes in the wake of Nepal holding the election after the promulgation of the new constitution. This also marks the end of protracted political transition followed by the decade-long Maoist conflict that claimed the lives of about 17,000 people.
The panel will identify changing dynamics of the determinants of foreign policy, and priorities that Nepal has to set for short-term and long-term bases with immediate neighbors, development partners and other friendly countries.
“The main objective of the panel is to review our foreign policy to align with changed national and international contexts. Our panel will come up with Nepal's regional, multilateral and country-specific foreign policy,” said Dipak Prakash Bhatta, a member of the panel.
Those in the panel include prime minister's foreign relations adviser Rishi Raj Adhikari, former minister Bidyadhar Mallik, former ambassador Dr Shankar Sharma, international trade expert Dr Posh Raj Pandey, labor expert Ganesh Man Gurung, former foreign secretary Madhu Raman Acharya, former ambassador Shambhu Ram Simkhada, former secretary and law expert Mohan Banjade, and retired Lietenant General Pawan Bahadur Pandey.
The panel also consists of security and foreign affairs expert Dr Shreedhar Kumar Khatri, security expert Deepak Prakash Bhatta, foreign affairs expert Nishchal Nath Pandey, Rajendra Bahadur Shrestha of Nepal Council of World Affairs and Deputy Executive Director of Institute of Foreign Affairs Indra Adhikari. Foreign Secretary Shanker Das Bairagi will act as member-secretary of the panel.