Indo Nepal Relationship: Border, Friendship and Kalapani dispute

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Historically India and Nepal had always shared friendly relation. Both welcome each other with open hearts .Nepalese were recruited in the government services. Many have been recruited to the Indian Army. Also we have shared conjugal relationship which is popularly called as “roti beti ka sambandh.

The Indo-Nepal share open border. Both of us go to and fro without showing passport and visa. Many Nepalese have come here in search of employment.

But now this relationship is malign and suspicion has prevailed on both the sides, but before we move to discuss the conflict let’s have look on its journey.

The Beginning

The history of Nepal and India began with the Treaty of Peace and Friendship. This treaty was signed between  Government of India and Government of Nepal.

Participants of this treaty were:

From India  His Excellency Shri Chandeshwar Prasad Narain Singh Ambassador of India to Nepal.

From Nepal Mohun Shamshun Jang . Bahadur Rana Maharaja PM, Supreme commander in chief of Nepal.

When China backed communist party would probably throw their Rana autocratic regime. To escape the crisis Indo –Nepal, Treaty of peace and friendship is signed. Ironically he lost power three months from signing the treaty ,only to be replaced by the Pro Indian party of the time. As Indian worked in the terrain region of Nepal and Indian influence prevailed there. In 1952 Indian Military Mission was established in Nepal.

However during those days dissatisfaction of Nepal’s Royal Family has grown against India for her gowing influence.So they overturned China as counter to India. They established diplomatic ties with Israel and tried to be pro USA.

1962 war

During 1962 in times of Sino-Indian war relationship between Kathmandu and Delhi thawed significantly. The defeat of Indian forces in 1962 gave Nepal with breathing space. Eventually with the secret agreement between two monopoly of India was established on the sales to Nepal.

Including Sikkim

Tensions were happened when India as India receives criticism from Nepal for annexing  its closest neighbour  Sikkim . Kingdom of Sikkim proposed Nepal to be recognized as ‘Zone Of Peace’ internationally. They got support from China and Pakistan but not from India. Eventually Nepal got support from 112 countries including the US, UK and France.

Nepal Earthquake

Even after many differences India stood by Nepal in the need of hour. During the devastating Nepal earthquake which was recorded 7.8 in the Richter scale followed by aftershock which was 7.4 in magnitude.

India swiftly sends the team of NDRF and special aircraft with rescue and relief materials include medical equipments food water tents blankets. India announced post earthquake reconstruction package of USD 1 billion.

Development Assistance

Development assistance in Nepal is the broad based program of Government of India. It includes project which have been implemented in the area of infrastructure of health, water resources education and rural and community development.

India has been assisting in the development of Border infrastructure.

The crisis

Now let’s move on to the present crisis between these two nations.

With the inauguration of  of motorable road from Dharchula to Lipulekh near disputed region of  Kalapani  a new controversry has been brought to the table.Where India claim tat they have been on the legitimate side .Nepal on the other hand claiming the region by quoting Sugauli treaty.

Suguali treaty

Sugauli treaty was signed between  East India Company and Raja Guru Gajraj Mishra with Chandra Shekhar Upadhay. Nepal renounced all claims to the disputed  terrai or lowland and ceded its conquest to the west of the River Kali.

1816 Sugauli treaty provided Kali river would mark the western border. Kalapani is on the east bank.

Mountains near Limpiyadhura in the falls in the east of the entire stretch

The kali river is regarded as the border and Nepal quits all the claim of the unit of River Kali.

Treaty of Peace and Friendship was unable to solve the issue.

Where is Kalapani?

As per India it comes under Pithogarh district of Uttarakhand in India. It shares border with Tibet in North and Nepal in the east.Nepal claims this territory since 1998 as their territory.

Controversy over Kalapani

In 1816 Sugauli treaty Kalapani was accepted in the eastern side. But survey maps of India since 1870 showed the areas of Lipulekh,Kalapani, as British Indian territory. Lipulekh was used by Britishers for trade with Tibet  and China.Nepal has never raised objection.

Strategic Importance of Dharchula and Lipulekh

 The road begins from Ghatibagar in Dharchula to Lipulekh near border of China. It is also known as Kailash  Mansarover Yatra Route.The road ends at 12,000 feet high at Lipulekh pass from there Mount Kailash only 97 km North of Tibet.

Lipulekh pass is at the the trijunction of India China and Nepal . It is the lowest part in the section.

The road would be the fastest route for the links between Delhi , Tibet . IN 2015 China had recognized the Indian soverignityby agreeing to expand trade through the Lipulekh pass. With this route thousands of Hindus would be able trek the Mount Kaliash in the shortest possible time.

How far Nepal’s claim is justified?

Nepal is claiming Limpiyadhura,Lipulekh and Kalapani as their region according to Sugauli treaty. But when India got independence all the territories that were part of British India  automatically comes under India. These regions were part of British India and so is the part of Indian Territory.

Article 8 of the India –Nepal treaty cancels all the previous agreement.It says” So far as matter dealt with here in  as concerned ,this treaty cancels all previous agreement and engagement entered into on behalf of India between British government and Government of Nepal”. However the treaty does not define the boundary of India –Nepal.

Why Nepal is necessary for us?

Amid of this growing tension, experts are worried about the conflict. Nepal is the only Hindu Country in the world and hence we must have to make our relation friendly and cooperative. There are so many areas of mutual gains. Nevertheless India has to take proactive role in building relationship. This is needed to become the global power which India aspires for. If it cannot be with Nepal it cannot be with anyone else.

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