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Book on foreign policy administrators since Nepal’s unification unveiled

A book “Pararastrakaa prashasak amirmunsidekhi pararastra secretarysamma” authored by former foreign secretary Dr Madan Kumar Bhattarai was released in Kathmandu on Friday.

The book was unveiled amid a function held at Nepal Academy, Kamaladi, in the presence of former Chief Justice Kalyan Shrestha, educationist Kedar Bhakta Mathema and women rights activist Bandana Rana, former and serving bureaucrats.

The book contains contributions made by 23 ex-foreign secretaries who served as the head of the country’s foreign affairs administration in different periods of time since the unification of Nepal by King Prithvi Narayan Shah in 1769.

Immediately, after the unification of Nepal, a government entity called Jaishi Kotha was established to look after the country’s foreign affairs. Jaishi Kotha was the country’s first ever institution dedicated to the foreign affairs. The name of Jaishi Kotha was changed to “Munshi Khana” when Bhimsen Thapa became prime minister, and Jaishi Kotha was retained as a unit of Munshi Khana.

Touching upon the institutional history of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the book gives in-depth information on the functions, roles and responsibilities of the foreign secretary.

Commenting on the book this afternoon, former chief justice Shrestha said that the book is worth-reading for those who want to learn about various individuals who served as foreign secretaries of Nepal in different periods of time.

Mathema, a former vice chancellor of Tribhuvan University and educationist, said that the book gives a clear picture on how the job of a foreign secretary was crucial and challenging during the Panchayat period and even before that.

Women rights activist Rana said that the book also reflects that Nepal’s bureaucracy was male-dominated since the time of unification of Nepal and the foreign ministry administration was not an exception.

Author of the book, Dr Bhattarai said that the book is expected to be helpful to those who want to know the institutional records and contributions made by foreign secretaries as they discharged their duties as in-charges of foreign policy administration.  The book has been published by Shangrila Books.

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