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P. Pawan asked: Why is India seeking to restructure the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship with Nepal? What are the specific areas that require revision and what is Nepal's take on this issue?

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  • S.D. Muni replies: It is not India but Nepal that has been seeking revision of the 1950 Treaty for the past almost five decades. India is only responding by stating that it is ready to consider Nepal’s proposal to revise the Treaty.

    Nepal has had reservations on some clauses related to import of arms where it has to seek India's consultation and mutual agreement as arms have to go through the Indian territory owing to Nepal's land locked geography. Nepal has viewed this Treaty as an unequal one. What it has however done in effect is to erode those provisions of the Treaty that it is not comfortable with, but it wants to retain other provisions that favour Nepal like freedom to the Nepalese citizens to seek employment and acquire property in India, at par with the rights of Indian citizens, without granting reciprocal rights to Indians in Nepal. The Treaty also keeps the border open between the two countries for free movement of people from both the sides.

    The 1950 Treaty was based on a balance between India's security concerns and Nepal's developmental aspirations. How will Nepal ensure a one-sided Treaty that only favours its interests without taking India's sensitivities and core interests into account, is something that remains to be seen.

    Posted on September 02, 2014