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Thursday, May 21, 2020

Nepal-India border dispute and solutions:

Raja Ghale

It is a well-known fact that Nepal has been suffering from border disputes with India since different
periods of history. About 606 square kilometers of Nepali territory has been encroached by India in 71 places like Kalinadi, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulek. After the recent merger of Lipulek's map with
India and the recent inauguration of the road from Lipulek to China, it has become of interest to all Nepalis and a topic of debate.

It is a matter of misfortune for all of us Nepalis as the role models and leaders of the country are sitting with the oil in the ear until the inauguration of the road connecting with China for 12 years.
Raja Ghale
Nepal had lost almost two-thirds of its territory in the last Sugauli Treaty which was held between Nepal and the then East India Company. Therefore, the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 should be amended or repealed. Even only making a map, our territory cannot be returned automatically.
There have been various protests against the border dispute and various arguments for its resolution going on. Some have argued that the army should be mobilized, while others have argued that the two countries should hold immediate prime ministerial talks.

Everywhere, the tide of protectionist sentiment is flowing. Who doesn't love their motherland? Therefore, it is natural for all Nepalis to be tense due to this vulture nature of the neighboring country.  Therefore, it is natural for everyone to have their own argument for patriotism and sovereign defense of their country. But taking an aggressive decision in a hurry will not solve the problem in the long run. The idea that it can be solved by fighting and mobilizing the army is ridiculous for our country. Because India is 22 times larger in area than Nepal and almost all the essential commodities are imported from India, Nepal is almost 70 percent dependent on India.

The key to the solution is a diplomatic effort. In foreign affairs, there are various stages for diplomatic contacts. The liaison between the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries becomes the first round of diplomatic discussions. If not from that stage, it should be initiated by the Foreign Minister. The foreign ministers of the two countries can sit down and find a solution by discussing the issue. If no solution is found at this stage, the heads of state will have to find a solution to the long-term problem through discussions between the prime ministers of Nepal and India.

If India does not want to help Nepal in any way to resolve this issue, it can be sued in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in Hague because if any issues and disputes between any of the nations can’t be resolved on its own, this International Court of Justice will do justice. So, if the
problem cannot be solved by diplomatic initiative, it is another effective solution, but it requires gathering facts and evidence from our intellectuals and continuing to strive for results.

Some experts say that Article 8 of the 1950 Sugauli Treaty between the British and Nepal found written evidence that all treaties had been repealed, according to which Nepal's land from Tista to Kangada could be taken back. India has no good relations with any of its neighbors; Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Bhutan, and other neighboring countries also have a history of suffering. Truth always wins, so if all countries continue their stand, one day India will have to bow down. Bangladesh, which seceded from Pakistan in 1971, has been working tirelessly to resolve the border dispute between India and Bangladesh since its inception, and the dispute was resolved 46 years later. This agreement is possible after continuous efforts. Are we going to learn a lesson from Bangladesh ??

Similarly, for a long-term solution, passports system should be implemented between Nepal and India, because open travel without a passport is a problem and ultimately risky. One day a situation may arise where even if only the people of Bihar come to Nepal, it will be difficult to cope. Similarly, if this is to be continued, it cannot be said that one day Nepal will not become a province of India like Sikkim and it will not be possible to say that we were the self-respecting Nepali one time in the history.

As Nepal is a small country with two big countries, India and China, it has always been harassed by its neighbors. It does not have the capacity to fight these two huge countries, so the strategy to improve relations with them is the key to the country's survival and independence. Since the people of Nepal and India are very similar in terms of religious beliefs, religious tolerance can be maintained between the two countries. There are many Hindus in India and there are many believers in Hinduism in Nepal too, so we can show religious equality in our relationship. Pashupatinath is a major place for Hindus. Even by showing this, we can maintain a sense of equality and belonging. Similarly, there are Buddhists in China. Our country is the birthplace of Gautama Buddha. Let us all spread the message that Buddha is the symbol of peace and Buddha's country Nepal is always in favor of peace and if these steps are taken from the country, such border problems will be solved and Nepal will always be peaceful and beautiful.

Based on Indira Chongbang's conversation with Raja Ghale, Nepal's Honorary Tourism Ambassador to Atlanta and social activist.