In her recent unofficial visit to Nepal, former Pakistani president Benazir Bhutto told Girija Prasad Koirala that "democracy and Nepal and Pakistan are in danger, but the international vanguards of democracy are unconcerned". There is little doubt who she was alluding to. Pakistan has been getting pats on the back from the United States for its stand against terrorism despite President Musharraf juggling with democracy at home. And US interest in Nepal has become increasingly evident.
There have been reports of US pressure against the political parties agitating against the October Fourth move. There are double standards at work here. Even tyrants will be crowned democrats if their interests are at stake. And a democratically elected government is expendable if US interests are not served.
In the congratulatory message to King Gyanendra on his birthday, President Bush praised the monarch's commitment to democracy and peace, and lauded his intention to hold elections in the foreseeable future. We learnt this bit of news only through Bush's felicitations. This did not come as an unexpected surprise to most Nepalis who suspect Thapa was nominated prime minister with US blessings.
In another press release, the US embassy blamed the agitating political parties for ruining Nepal's tourism, even though it is fully aware that the protest is peaceful and demands the restoration of democracy. The US seems more concerned about Nepal's tourism than its democracy. Democracy imported from Washington, New Delhi and Downing Street can only be a 'market democracy'. Nobody doubts US commitment to democracy and peace, but its double standards have made pro-democracy forces in Nepal suspicious of its true intentions.