Birendra P Mishra’s article ‘The 1950 Treaty’ (Himalayan Times Daily, May 23, 2008) has pointed out that implementation of several Articles, including 6 and 7, have been rendered ineffective in time in totality. He has also mentioned that the treaty provides for continuity to the centuries-old tradition of free movement of citizens in each other’s territory.
I would like to highlight that no mention has been made free movement or open border in the treaty. But it is only mentioned, the movement will be on the reciprocal basis. Portion of Article 7 says “India and Nepal agree to grant, on reciprocal basis, to the nationals of one country in the territories of the other, movement and privileges of a similar nature.” In this context, the then Councilor of Indian Embassy, Kathmandu Sanjaya Verma had said “In the 1950 Treaty, not a single point speaks that there must be an open border system between Nepal and India, but open border should be best construed as a symbol of intimate bond between the two neighbours (Space Times Daily, July 2, 2004 page 6). So what should be understood that there is not a single clause in any of the treaties, agreements, memorandum and understanding reached between Nepal and India that inscribes open border system. It is only an unofficial practice which has kept on going for centuries by both the nations.
Buddhi Narayan Shrestha
Bhumichitra Mapping Co.
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