When a comprehensive philosophy of national interests starts to have gaps in public life domains, a nation starts embarking on the journey of failure. Any possible conflict of interest within ruling institutions exacerbates crises. Contemporary political discourse determines the course a nation is taking, the outcome in the form of success or failure. This opens another avenue of debate whether only the political system is the mother of all policies, as articulated by political leaders in Nepal. When Nepal has been witnessing complex phenomena, outside geographic territory and even in space, it will be worthwhile to explore, learn and apply the requirements of the present.
We have been witnessing threats in different aspects of our lives and this threatens national stability and our image in regional as well as global fora. Should we witness the happenings or start taking actions is our choice and our choice will determine our future course. Revising the history of our nation and observing the world around us, it has become clear that we have been experiencing hostility in the form of coercive conflicts and aggressions, immature government and non-government policies, political espionage, and inappropriate interference in elections. Terrorism has been a huge threat in various forms like physical violence and cyber-crime proliferation. Taking caution and presuming possible physical violence, aggression and eliminating such elements is what security forces should do. For instance, recently, we have experienced the sight of different threatening objects in public places and places of national interest. Various financial crimes, including stealing and extortion as well as harmful agendas, are sprouting with the use of cyber gateways.
We are witnessing how a pandemic can be a threat to not just a country but the whole world. For instance, Covid-19 has caused tragic deaths, widespread social and economic havoc, and mental health issues. In the past two years, the highly contagious strain has caused the closure of many small and big businesses temporarily or even permanently, resulting in huge losses. Travel, hospitality sectors and industries have been impacted disproportionately. The cumulative effects of economic loss and rise in unemployment are likely to destabilize society. This pandemic is a reminder that the threat is ever present. Therefore, it is imperative to take measures for the protection of citizens. When in need, we accepted aid in the form of vaccinations, technologies, oxygen plants and medicines, etc from different countries. Now, we should set up research facilities for the development and testing of vaccines, medicines, technologies and provide training to public health workers to deal with similar outbreaks.
Natural disasters also pose a big threat, with climate change exacerbating it further. The (Gorkha) Earthquake in 2015, tornado in 2019 and the Melamchi flash flood (2021) were some of the disasters that took many lives, caused huge economic losses and left the citizens traumatized. Climate change causes irregular rain patterns and droughts, disrupting traditional agriculture practices and affecting the supply chain. Huge losses of lives and properties are the consequences of natural disasters aggravated by climate change. Choice is in our hands to explore methods and develop practices that can slow down climate change and mitigate its impacts.
Transnational crimes are other sets of problems threatening our country. Human trafficking, illicit drug trafficking, business infiltrations, extortions, transfer of illegal weapons, and harmful ideologies are creating adverse situations in Nepal. A regional approach is a must to deal with these challenges.
Nepal faces a wide range of threats with implications for the entire region. The time has come to develop appropriate response strategies by giving our emergency response efforts due priority, identifying the loopholes and creating an atmosphere for peace, stability and safety on a regional basis.
The author is with the Ministry of Home Affairs