No Open Border

No open border

– Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

This refers to an interview under the heading “Diplomats think Foreign Ministry does not exist” (Kathmandu Post Daily, September 6, 2008) in which the foreign Minister Upendra Yadav has expressed “we must keep in mind that the 1950 treaty has created an open border, established better ties and given us free cross-border movement.”

In fact, no mention has been made of free movement or open border in the Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty-1950. It is only mentioned, the movement will be made on the reciprocal basis. Article 7 states “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.” I emphasize that there is not a single clause not only in the 1950 treaty, but also in any of the subsequent treaties, agreements, memorandum and understanding reached between Nepal and India that inscribes open border system and free movement.

Supporting this fact, the then Councilor, Sanjaya Verma of Indian Embassy, 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 Time, July 2, 2004).”  

                                                                                                                                                                    

With all these facts, the expression made by the Foreign Minister Yadav is fallacious. The mentioned arguement on the part of Yadav is totally baseless. This sort of baseless statement that too from a minister of the country can be extremely  misleading which will surely jeopardize the national interest of Nepal. In addition, it may misguide the scholars and researchers of both the countries. Undoubtedly, 1950 treaty is unjustifiably tilted towards the vested interest of India. So it must be abrogated without much ado. 

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