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Hans Raj Singh asked: What are the major problems on the Indo-Nepal border and how they can be resolved?

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  • Nihar Nayak replies: India-Nepal border is unique. It is an open and the most peaceful border in Asia. The present arrangement supports the sustenance of livelihood and cultural linkages of millions of people in the region. However, this asset is turning into a liability due to extra-regional countries’ design to destabilise the relationship between India and Nepal. One country is consistently instigating certain sections in Nepal by saying that open border has been responsible for the underdevelopment in Nepal. Therefore, it should be closed. Its design is to close the border to check the inflow of ‘anti-national elements’ from India. Another country takes advantage of the open border and wants to destabilise India by using the Nepal territory. For example, terrorist outfits like LeT, Indian Mujahideen and some insurgent groups from North Eastern part of India have been using the open border to provide logistical support (supply of trained cadres, fake Indian currency, and terror finance by using Nepalese banks, dispersal of small arms and explosives and narcotics) to their clandestine operations in India.

    Apart from that, there are frequent reports of misuse of open border by local criminal gangs, smuggling of subsidised consumer goods and allegations of encroachment of territory. People living in the border region of both the countries are involved in these activities.


    Since 98 per cent of the border is demarcated by the joint survey, both the countries should resolve the border disputes by singing on the survey report. That will avoid border encroachment disputes.

    Second, since both the countries are affected due to the misuse of open border by internal and external forces, the responsibility of border management and regulation depends on both. Although India has taken certain measures, like deployment of additional SSB personnel (presently 45,000, Nepal only 4,500), construction of integrated border check posts and capacity building programmes for the SSB, similar responses are required from Nepal.

    Last but not the least, meetings pertaining to joint border management mechanism should be organised regularly for effective border management, coordination, and to avoid any kind of misunderstanding between both the countries.