Bishweshor Prasad Koirala was born to a politically exiled Nepali family at Varanashi of India on 8 September 1914. He was born just a month after the beginning of the World War I. Today marks the 106th birth anniversary of this legendary literary figure of Nepal and the first democratically elected Prime Minister of Nepal.
One of the founding members of Nepali Congress, Koirala as the 22nd Prime Minister of Nepal also founded some of the great diplomatically pioneering historic steps. Koirala who passed away on 21 July, 1982 was in the office just for around 18 months from May 1959 to December 1960. However, he has made some great diplomatic records on behalf of Nepal in the international arena.
At a time when many nations around the globe including India were reluctant to recognize Israel, BP Koirala was the first Prime Minister from South Asia recognizing the state of Israel. On 1 June 1960, Nepal formally established its diplomatic relationship with Israel. He also made a 10-day-long state visit to Israel on the August of 1960 and issued a joint statement with founding father and Prime Minister of Israel David Ben-Gurion before concluding his visit on 23 August 1960, says an achieve report by Jewish Telegraph Agency. The report added, 'He attended a scientific conference at the Weizmann Institute and Met Israel leaders. Premier Koirala, it was learned, has also indicated a desire to send Nepalese officers for training with Israel Army’.
He was also the first Nepali PM to speak for China's inclusion in UN. BP Koirala openly advocated for China's inclusion as the Permanent Member in UN on 15th regular session of the UNGA in 1960. Where he said, ''The United Nations can neither become universal nor can it reflect the political realities existing in the world outside until People's Republic of China is given rightful place in our organization. The United Nations will not be able to fulfill effectively some of its most important purposes and functions until People's Republic of China is brought in.'' After 11 years on 25 October 1971, UN formally recognized the People's Republic of China as the permanent member of UN, replacing the position previously held by the then Republic of China (Taiwan).
Likewise, BP was the first Nepali PM to advocate for UN membership for Mongolia. Speaking on the 15th UNGA, Koirala openly advocated for the membership of Mongolia. He said, ''Greater imagination and foresight are needed than the United Nations has thus far shown. We also feel that the Republic of Mongolia too has a rightful claim to membership of this organization.''
Similarly, he is the first Nepali PM to talk Everest issue with Chinese leader Mao Zedong. On 18 March 1960, BP Koirala made a historic meeting with Mao Zedong in Hangzhou city of China. During the meet, Koirala actively raised the issue of Mt. Everest with Mao. A book titled 'Mao Zedong on Diplomacy', which was compiled by The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China and the Party Literature Research Center under the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and first published by Foreign Languages Press Beijing on 1998, has detailed this conservation.
The chapter titled 'The Sino-Nepalese Border Must be Peaceful and Friendly Forever' details interaction between the two leaders from the verbatim records. BP interacted with Mao as follows on the issue of Mt. Everest. “There is another question, a question of sentiment. We call it Sagarmatha, the West calls it Everest and you call it Qumolongma. The place has always been within our boundary, but Premier Zhou Enlai said it was within yours,” BP is quoted as saying in the book.
Similarly, he was the Nepali PM to stand for Algerian independence at a time when the North African country was in French colonial rule and was fighting for its independence. Koirala openly supported Algerian independence from France in his 15th UNGA speech in 1960. He said: It may not be necessary for me to repeat that we have always stood for Algerian independence. When the President of France made a solemn declaration last year, we had hoped that the new French policy would lead to Algerian self-determination and to the solution of the Algerian question once for al. But, looking back over the progress of the past year, we find that the constructive move initiated by the president of France was not carried to its logical conclusion, certainly not because of the Algerian failure to respond but because of the unrealistic conditions with the French sought to hedge around the original offer of negotiations on the basis of self-determination.
Finally after two years of BP's solidarity at the UNGA on Algerian independence struggle, Algeria got its independence in July 1962.
Source: National News Agency Nepal