Kathmandu: Nepal is drafting a new policy to “discourage” international NGOs from undertaking programmes with potential to hamper the country’s relations with its giant neighbours, India and China, officials said. While cross-border terrorism and criminal activities continue to be the major causes of concern for India, China has in the past complained about the Tibetans’ movement via Nepal.
Based on Nepal’s foreign policy of keeping balanced relations, the projects that are opposed by either country will not be implemented, according to the draft of the strategy policy which is being prepared by the Social Welfare Council, Kathmandu Post reported. “Nepal is a land-locked country and has two large countries with large populations in the north and south,” according to the draft. The policy will discourage organisations from running programmes that can hamper Nepal’s relations with the neighbouring countries, it said. Council officials said the policy is still in the draft stage and some of its provisions are expected to be addressed by a new law on the registration of Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs).
“The objective of the proposed policy is to reassert that Nepal government is concerned about the strategic mobilisation of international NGOs, particularly in the bordering regions, in the name of building madrassas and monasteries,” said Durga Prasad Bhattarai, an information officer at the council. According to the council, madrassas in the regions bordering India are receiving funds from countries like Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Another official at the council admitted that India has raised concerns about the large presence of madrassas in the bordering region.