Research Fellow, IDSA, Dr Nihar Nayak’s article on India Nepal relations, titled ‘India-Nepal ties: Will PM Prachanda walk the extra mile for a warmer relationship?’ was published in First Post on September 17, 2016.
China, the US, and some EU countries prefer continuation of the Left alliance in Nepal for their concern over replacing “secularism” with “Hinduism” in the Nepal’s Constitution. Therefore, the EU, which has a reputation of backing human rights and social justice for the marginalised groups, surprisingly keeps silence even when the Janajatis and Madhesis feel that their interests are not accommodated in the new Constitution. Despite facilitating Nepal’s experiment with democracy and its continuing aid for humanitarian causes, India is projected as an overly interfering neighbour.
While India may wait for full cooperation of other member countries to make SAARC a success, it must take the initiative for forging more agreements in matters concerning economic and social cooperation.
There are multiple levels of relationship between India and Nepal. This article deals exclusively with their bilateral transit relations, focusing on their negotiations in the context of Nepal as a landlocked developing country (LLDC). While LLDCs consider their free access to the nearest seaport through a transit country as a natural right, the transit countries often bargain with them from a position of strength.
Breaking its four-decade-long record of dependency on India for fossil fuel, Nepal entered into an oil trade agreement with China on October 28. A memorandum of understanding was signed between the Nepal Oil Corporation (NOC) and China National United Oil Corporation (PetroChina) in Beijing. While confirming the deal China reportedly indicated that it “could well become a long-term fuel supplier to Nepal”.