In a recently published article by eKantipur, Nepal’s Prime Minister Sushil Koirala was quoted expressing his concerns about the global spread of terrorism and militant fundamentalism. He called these a “threat to peace, stability, democracy and development”. Regardless of whether you agree with his political ideology, you must agree with him on this point. Global terrorism today constitutes a major concern for state and non-state actors and confronting it has to be a top priority.
Nepal is in an interesting, yet challenging, transition phase. One would think that composing a new constitution to establish a fertile environment for economic development would keep Nepali politicians busy enough. But having to deal with the threat of terrorism, in a scope the world has never witnessed, seems like a lot of additional work that somehow needs to be addressed
A very diverse country such as Nepal can be an example of how diversity can be used to tackle terrorism. Having witnessed tremendous political changes, that overthrew monarchy, and started the peace and democratic process, Nepal can now provide policy makers from across the globe an example of how national and economic security issues can be a unifier against terrorism.
Unifying different stakeholders for national security, while accommodating autonomy of a variety of cultural heritages and religious affiliations, under one constitution, was always going to be a challenge. The European Union itself is brawling with the task of preserving unity in a world that wants to celebrate diversity but not emphasizing it. Acknowledging that the fight against terrorism transcends cultures, religions and nations may not be the most elegant argument for unity but it has a lot of potential.
If Nepal’s new constitution is successful in addressing the threat of terrorism by providing a fair and just set of fundamental principles that fight the problem at its roots, it can serve as an example for other countries as well. I would even go as far as to suggest that if it succeeds in balancing good governance and unity while also granting enough autonomy to each of the states, it accomplishes what the European Parliament has been trying to do ever since its foundation. Then perhaps the EU could learn a lesson or two from Nepal. Or it could simply do what most of us have done plenty of times during school: copy.
Mr. Koirala also called on all political parties to act in concert to “defeat all forms and manifestations of terrorism”. This reasoning has value beyond the context of terrorism. If political parties could only apply this mindset of teamwork to other areas of the constitution making, Nepal would soon have a well formulated and democratic constitution.