After almost two years, Nepal's Foreign Ministry recommended names of six joint secretaries to head the Nepalese missions abroad. However, the government has been unable to recommend ambassadors to important countries like India, United States of America and United Kingdom.
Those recommended were Deepak Dhital for UN Mission in Geneva, Kali Prasad Pokharel for Canada, Yegya Hamal for Kuwait, and Khag Nath Adhikari for Thailand, Ambika Luitel for France and Amrit Rai for South Africa.
Although the minister tried to strike a balance, some seniors were left out. Joint secretary Arjun Kanta Mainali, who is retiring next year, reportedly is a senior joint secretary. Likewise, Director General of Department of Passports Ramesh Khanal, who has reformed the passport, distribution system was also a major contender for the post of ambassador. Khanal is also among senior joint secretaries at the Ministry.
The Foreign Minister claims that he recommended the names on the basis of their service, performance and seniority. Others disagreed saying that one of the name in the list is of someone who rarely stayed in the ministry during the career.
By recommending six career ambassadors, foreign minister Mahendra Bahadur Pandey made a breakthrough. It is expected that he will recommend 10 other names as ambassadors on political basis.
The present delay in the recommendation was due to the claim by two major political parties over the position in United States and India. Although India remains Nepal's major country, the post of ambassador has remained vacant there for almost three years.