Met with Prime Minister

Nepal PM to raise issue of illegal land encroachment with India


Telegraph Weekly


 


The members of the Border Awareness Campaign (BAC) met with the Prime Minister of Nepal Mr. Pushpa Kamal Dahal on Saturday, September 13, 2008, at the PM’s official residence in Baluatar Kathmandu.


 


The members of the said campaign on the eve of the PM’s trip to India advised the Prime Minister on the issues of Unequal Treaty Peace and Friendship signed in 1950 with India, and also apprised the Prime Minister of the illegal occupation of Nepali lands by India in various parts of the country, say reports.


 


President Mr. Chetendra Jung Himali, Secretary Phanindra Nepal, members Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, Dr. Surendra K.C. and Mr. Gopal Gurung demanded that the treaty of 1950 should be abrogated and new equal treaty must be replaced by a new one that took care of Nepal’s genuine national interests.


 


On the issues concerning Nepali lands occupied by India in the Kalapani and Susta area, the team advised the prime minister to put forward Nepali claims strongly as the Nepal side possesses adequate and authentic proofs in the form of maps that the lands occupied by India rightfully belonged to Nepal, said Mr. Surendra K.C talking to telegraphnepal.com.


 


Nepal’s Prime Minister Dahal looked very positive towards the genuine issues raised by the Border Awareness Campaign and assured the visiting members that he will raise the issue of illegal occupation of Nepali lands strongly with his counterpart while in New Delhi.


 


Prime Minister Dahal is heading to New Delhi today, September 14, 2008, for a five day visit.


2008-09-14 08:58:08


 

Koshi inundation issue should be internationalized

Koshi inundation issue should be internationalized

 

Leaders of the Nepal Communist Party-UML, Nepali Congress, Civil society members and experts have blamed India for floods in Sunsari district caused by the breach of Koshi afflux embankment.

Nepal’s border expert, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha said that the unequal Koshi project agreement between Nepal and India should be either reviewed or chalked a new agreement. The problem, emerged after the breach of Koshi spurs and embankment, must be made as a matter of international debate, he opined.

 

Making his views at a program organized by the Mirmire Club in the capital on Friday, 22 August 2008, Shrestha further said, it has to formulate a provision of joint operation of the Koshi barrage by the personnel of both Nepal and India for its management and administration.

 

 At present, all the activities to operate the barrage are under the unilateral control of India. He pointed out that existing system has to be changed and addressed immediately, so that it may not invite such catastrophe again, as it was damaged two spurs and embankment on 18 August by the swollen river Koshi this time.                                   

                                                        

Shrestha claimed that the problem emerged by the Koshi river this time is not a natural calamity, but a man made problem, not opening the sufficient number of sluice gates. Since India had taken the responsibility for the construction, management and operation of the barrage for 199 years, all the problems disrupted through it must be borne by India.

He added, there are 56 sluice gates in the Koshi barrage. Only 27 gates have been opened and operated during the time of high flow of water, when the incident took place. It shows that India adopted a policy to save their land from flooding, but to inundate the Nepali territory. Had it been opened 50 to 54 sluice gates, there should not have occurred this havoc in Nepal. 

                                                                                                                                             

He emphasized that recently formed government of Nepal must put forward to India government without any hesitation, concerning the existing unequal treaties with India, including Koshi agreement.

 

Border expert Shrestha mentioned that 50 thousand Nepali nationals got into trouble due to the negligence of India not maintaining and repairing Koshi barrage for the last fifty four years. 

                                                                                                          

Border knowledgeable person Fannindra Nepal said, heart of Nepali people has disregarded India, after the Koshi barrage embankment breached. India must pay the compensation of the damaged Nepalese life and property to Nepali people.

   

In the programme Bhim Acharya, a leader of Nepal Communist Party (UML) said, Koshi agreement defies all international norms. Koshi is not at all an agreement, Nepal has been betrayed by India while signing the agreement. He mentioned that Nepal has been cheated in the Koshi agreement done between Nepal and India. It should be reformed andamended.    

                                                               

Jip Chhiring Lama, a NC leader said, the Sunsari floods are not at all natural, it was in fact a surprise gift to the Nepali citizens by their Indian neighbors. The problem created by Koshi barrage damaged embankment should be resolved with a long term view.

“The Nepalese people must unit to fight against this Indian hegemony. We need to fight to preserve our nationalism and break all the illegally built embankments by the India side along the Nepal-India border”, Lama concluded.

(Source: Gorkhapatra Daily and Telegraph Weekly, 2008-08-23)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Licentiate Surveyor System in Nepal

 

 

Licentiate Surveyor System in Nepal

 

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Former Director General

                                                                              

Himalayan Democratic Republic of Nepal entered into licentiate surveyor system on 4 February 2008. Nepal Government Survey Department provided “Surveying & Mapping License” for the first time to twenty seven legible Surveyors amidst a function. So this is a historic event for the land surveyors of Nepal and land-mark for the Department of Surveys as well.

 

If we recall the history of land surveying and surveyor’s name in Nepal, parcel estimation with eye examination survey work was started in 1623 AD. Later on it was improved to  measuring by bamboo rod. At that time the designation ‘Chhyatrakar’ was given for those who would measure open land and ‘Takshhyakar’ for built-up area Surveyor. In due course, chain survey measurement system with parcel identification was started in 1852. And the Surveyor was named as ‘Dangol.’ They use to measure the land with the help of Chain. During 1906 military took over the work of land surveying. They started to work with the help of Trough Compass. So they were named as ‘Compassay.’ First Plane Table surveying was introduced at Bhaktapur in 1923. And the surveyor name was changed into ‘Amin.’ They were helped by Chainman in the field for land surveying work. The name Amin was carried out for a long period, even after the implementation of revolutionary Land Reform Programme in Nepal in 1964. At that time cadastral survey system was improved and the supervisor was named as Settlement Officer. After the implementation of geodetic control point system in 1970 and establishment of topographical survey branch in 1972, various names had been emerged for the surveyors; such as Basic Surveyor, Assistant Surveyor, Surveyor, Inspector, Team Leader, Field Computer, Signalman, EDM Operator, Cartographer, Photogrammist, Aerial Photographer, GPS Operator etc. The supervisors were named as Survey Officer, Senior Survey Officer, Chief Survey Officer, Deputy Director General, Director General etc. These names are existed in these days as well. In short, basically they all belong the designation of ‘Surveyors.’  

 

Who is a Surveyor?

It is necessary to know who is a surveyor and what does he do? A Surveyor caries out the survey and measurement of land and related objects. He uses to draw and establish land related data on paper and digital from as well. In the changing context of the world with the development of modern scientific technique, improved equipment and instrument; surveyor must have broader activities in relation to land surveying, measurement and creation of land data. In fact, surveyors are fact finders and providers of opinion and advice because they collect, process and establish data, which are generated from the actual field work.

 

The code of conduct provided by the Survey Department along with the license says-  ‘Licentiate Surveyors’ are those, who have obtained license (permission) under the Article 26 of Land (Survey & Measurement) Regulations- 2001. At the same time, the Regulation has defined as- ‘License’ should be understood as letter of permission to work for survey and mapping in accordance with the Article 26 of the Regulations.

 

The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) has defined- “A surveyor is a professional person with the academic qualifications and technical expertise to practice the science of measurement, to assemble and assess land and geographic related information; to use that information for the purpose of planning and implementing the efficient administration of the land, the sea and structures thereon; and to instigate the advancement and development of such practices.” Practice of the surveyor’s profession may involve one or more of the allocated activities which may occur either on, above or below the surface of the land or the sea and may be carried out in association with other professionals. In the application of these activities surveyors take into account the relevant legal, economic, environmental and social aspects affecting each project.

 

Licensing system

Licensing to the professionals is not a new phenomenon in the world. The first regulation of this type was contained in the code of laws of Hammurahi of Babylon in the eighteen century BC. But the code was something like ‘eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth.’ For example, a builder constructed a house that collapsed and killed owner; the builder would be killed. If the collapse caused the death of the owner’s son, the builder’s son would be killed and so on.

 

Regarding the licenses to the Surveyors and Engineers, it was started in 1907 in Wyoming. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln of the United States of America had possessed Surveyor’s Licenses. Today surveying professionals of the developed countries of the world must obtain licenses before they make practice land surveying and mapping. Singapore, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Japan etc in the continent of Asia has introduced the system of licensing / registration to the surveyors. Now Nepal is also a country of licentiate surveyors. However, Nepal had started to issue license for the Lawyers on 29 October 1956 and Medical Doctors in 1964

 

Elements of a surveyor

It may be relevant to mention the elements of s surveyor in the context of licensed surveyor system. Surveyors and professional people have four basic elements i.e. education, organization, experience and exclusion. Education means obtaining of formal school degree and the completion of as many surveying courses as possible. Also it can be self-education and continuing professional development (CPD) for improvement of personal qualifications and skills by handling tasks and duties through a lifelong process of learning.

 

Organization means participation in a professional organization and membership of professional Associations, such as Nepal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, Nepal Surveyors Association, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors etc. Membership of such organizations may lead the surveyors towards obtaining the recognition and status of a true professional man. Experience is obtained over the years, undertaking specific tasks and it will be as a gradual transformation of knowledge with the solution of problems.

 

Exclusion is regarded as to avoid, unfit and unworthy activities which are restricted by the code of ethics or code of professional conduct. One has to bear in mind that there is always a possibility to be expelled from the registered licensed surveyor, if he had unethical behaviour and incompetence on the code of conduct.

 

In the bygone days land surveying was generally said to include the determination of area of tract of land, the surveying needed for preparing descriptions of land establishing or re-establishing land boundaries and the preparation of plots for land tracts and sub-divisions. In course of time with the development of new technology and equipment, surveying have been involved in a broad range of activities, which may occur either on, above or below the surface of the land or the sea and may be carried out in association other professionals.

                                                                              

Licensing in Nepal

Licentiate survey system in Nepal is a felt need according to the pace of time. Because so many modern techniques and activities on surveying, mapping and creation of digital database are not untouchable to Nepal in the global perspective. And Nepalese mapping and geo-informatics system must have been adopted in relation to other countries, especially the SAARC nations. On the other hand, maps and digital data concerning to it, must be accurate, exact, standard, reliable and up-to-date. Licentiate system may help to develop further the mapping activities and establishment of digital database in Nepal according to the norms and standard set by the government.

 

The other fact is that in the developing world, especially the third world countries, government organizations may not cover all the developmental activities to be carried out, as per increasing demand of the society. In this context, the government organizations set forth the norms, standard and specifications and private sectors work accordingly. And government agencies supervise the quality of work. So it is a kind of co-operation and compliment to each other to develop the overall standard of the nation. This is applicable also in the field of mapping for development.

 

In this perspective, Survey Department has issued the surveying and mapping license on the recommendation of the Assessment Committee, formed under the Rule 27 of Land (Survey & Measurement) Regulations- 2001. It is mentioned in the recommendation that it should have to carry out the mapping and updating of parcels, engineering surveying, topographic surveying and mapping (except base maps of Nepal) and thematic surveying and mapping related activities by the Licentiate Surveyor. It has been mentioned the conditions of the Land (Survey & Measurement) Act-1963 and its Regulations-2001, while Survey Department provided the license. These terms and conditions are the code of conduct to the Licentiate Surveyors of Nepal.

 

Code of conduct

A professional surveyor must follow the code of conduct to make the mapping profession respectful, disciplined, reliable, and trust worthy. It is necessary to fit the Nepalese surveyor professionals into national and international level as per universally accepted standard in the context of increasing globalization and borderless opportunities. At the same time, it should be based on the statement of ethical principle and model code of professional conduct of International Federation of Surveyors (FIG). In the context of all these basic principles, some of the important conditions as ‘code of conduct’ provided along with the license (certificate) by Survey Department are as follows: 

 

Ethical principles

 

1. Honesty and integrity:

  • Surveyors must cultivate professional obligations to society and promote the surveying profession to clients and public.
  • Measures accurately, record and interpret all data based on facts and figures with caution.
  • Standard must be maintained within the limit of permissible error. Surveyors must clarify to the client, the possible percentage of correctness of his work.

  

2. Independence:

  • Surveyors must work hard in relation to existing laws. Work must be carried out with legal submission and full dedication.
  • He must be diligent, impartial, unquestionable and competent in his work, though no one can be perfect one hundred percent. He should not incline to any person or institution. Impartial and unbiased advice must be provided to the client or employer.
  • He maintains the highest standard of honesty and integrity in ensuring that the information and data he provides are true and complete.

 

3. Care and competence:

  • Surveyors work should be consistent in relation to knowledge and skill. Expertise should be utilized for the development of community.
  • He should not accept assignment those are outside the scope of his professional competency.

 

4. Duty:

  • Surveyor maintains confidentiality about private information of his current and former clients /employers / the public, unless to make disclosure by the law or client’s permission.
  • He avoids conflicts of interests and recognizes the interest of the public.
  • Attention should be given to environmental aspect for all activities.
  • Public interest should be identified in the context of services provided to the clients and employers.
  • He must conduct work with due attention to the rights of all clients with the maximum capability.

 

Professional code of conduct  

 

1. Generally, the licentiate surveyor must:

  • Exercise impartial, independent and professional judgment.
  • Not to accept assignment those are outside the scope of his professional competency.
  • He must increase skill and knowledge with the continuity of professional development.
  • He may employ the expertise of others when his knowledge and ability are inadequate for addressing specific issues.

 

2. Surveyor as an employer:

  • Surveyors must be responsible on the work done by sub-ordinates.
  • He must help to employees who are working under him, for their technical and professional development.
  • Working environment and reasonable remuneration must be ensured for the employers.
  • He should generate the sense of responsibility of surveying professionals, in addition to the honesty and reliability of employees.

 

3. When dealing with clients:

  • Surveyors must not to show professional weakness.
  • He should pre-inform to the customers, if there may be the possibility of disputes and conflicts.
  • He must be careful with doubtful person or organization.
  • He does not receive remuneration for one project from multiple sources without the knowledge of the parties involved.
  • He maintains the highest honesty and trust worthiness, with whom they come into contact, directly or indirectly.

4. While providing professional services:

  • Remuneration must be fixed on the basis of technical complication, level of responsibility and liability of services.
  • Unofficial fees should not be imposed on account of the services provided.
  • Detail breakdown of the fee should be provided, if the client requests.
  • No maps, report and document should be certified, except it is prepared directly under own supervision and direction.

 

5. Surveyor as a member of professional institution:

  • Licentiate surveyor must not employ who are under qualification.
  • If he has some information on illegal activity done by others, he has to furnish that information to the professional institutions.
  • No certification should be done to those, who are below standard in academic qualification, experience and character.
  • He must enhance survey professionalism to all clients, customers and general people.

 

6. As a professional practioner:

  • Surveyors must not express misleading statements in advertisement and commercial media.
  • He must not disturb the prestige of surveying professionals directly or indirectly.
  • He must not interfere and displace the work of other surveyors, who are in agreement with other customers.
  • Branch offices should not be opened without the direction and management of responsible surveyors.

 

7. Surveyor as a resource manager:

  • Environmental context should be addressed with sufficient understanding, hard working and honesty.
  • He must have knowledge on various aspects of environment and principle of sustainable development.
  • If the project has an effect on environmental impact, it must include its assessment, planning and management.
  • Encouragement should be provided, if the exercises to environment conservation are in favour of the welfare of society. 

Reference

1.      FIG Publications No. 2, FIG Bureau, Helsinki, Finland. 1991.

2.      FIG Publications No. 17, FIG Bureau, London, U.K, September 1998,

3.      Surveyors, Nepal Surveyors Association, Kathmandu, Nepal, November 2003.

4.      Cadastre 2014, Jurg Kaufmann, Daniel Steudler, FIG Commission 7, Switzerland, July 1998.

5.      Boundary of Nepal (in vernacular), Buddhi Narayan Shrestha, Bhumichitra Co. Kathmandu, 2000.

 

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Replace or Review 1950 Treaty

Replace or Review 1950 Treaty

 

By Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

 

Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty, signed on 31 July 1950 has become the hot topic of discussion and debate in these days. In fact, the treaty triggered a great hullabaloo in the country right after the emergence of the CPN (Maoist) as the largest political force at the election to constituent assembly (CA). Maoist Chairman Prachanda has said that the 1950 Treaty should be abrogated as per the changed context. He has also opined that the replacement of the treaty with new one is imperative to define Nepal-India relationships in a new light.

  

In its electoral manifesto, the CPN (Maoist) has clearly stated “In line with the principle of Panchasheel, Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty-1950 will be abrogated in order to sign a new one for mutual benefits apart from the standardization of the system of border security force.” Similarly, in his proposal presented on behalf of Maoist Party on 27 April 2003, Dr Baburam Bhattrai, senior Maoist leader said, “All the unequal treaties including Nepal-India Peace and Friendship Treaty-1950, must be annulled and Nepal’s foreign policy must be guided by the principles of Panchaseel and non-alignment,”

 

Similarly, CP Gajurel, Chief of the Foreign Affairs Department of the CPN (Maoist) has also raised the issue of reviewing the Treaty by making necessary amendments in related articles. Gajurel made this remark while speaking at a program “Emerging Trend in India-Nepal Relations” organized in Patna, India from 26-28 April 2008. Speaking at the same program, Shyam Saran, former Indian envoy to Nepal said “Reviewing the treaty is not a great issue. If this issue is forwarded as a bilateral agenda, we will not have any objection.” Saran attended the program as the special speaker.

 

Now, the major question that crops up in one’s mind is whether the Treaty should be only review or annulled at all. And, the other burning aspect is if the treaty is equal or unequal. In order to resolve these questions, it will be relevant to dwell on certain provisions of the Treaty in brief.     

   

Equal or unequal

First of all, let us focus ourselves towards confirming if the treaty is equal or not. Quite notably, the two plenipotentiaries who jointly signed the treaty representing their respective countries are found to be of asymmetrical position. While signing the treaty, Nepal was represented by the Prime Minister while an Ambassador was assigned by India for the same purpose.

 

The next incoherence is related to the imposition of more conditions in the letter of exchange between the two countries with the signing of the treaty. Ironically, the various sections of the letters showed the imposition of some more conditions than the various points mentioned in the treaty, per se.

 

In some sections of the exchanged letters, one can find the provision that says the first priority should be given to India and its people.  The exchanged letter has more or less disregarded the essence of the treaty, which is against the general spirit of the treaty. The way the words are framed in the letter of exchange shows that India wants Nepal to come under its control. In this regard, the Press Trust of India, quoting the General Secretary of CPI (Marxist) Prakash Karat, recently stated, “There should be no room for unequal treaties irrespective of the hugeness of the countries involved in it.”

 

Uncongenial between Treaty and Letter of Exchange

Now, let’s briefly discuss the provisions stipulated by the treaty. A number of its provisions have never been implemented while some others have been partially implemented. It is also conspicuously clear that one signatory have been unscrupulously leveraging the Treaty unilaterally to serve its vested interests.  

 

Article- 8 of the controversial treaty states “The Treaty cancels all previous treaties, agreements and engagements entered into on behalf of British Government and Government of Nepal.” But this Article has never been implemented. The unfettered prevalence of Sugauli Treaty of 4 March 1816, Nepal-Britain Friendship Treaty of 21 December 1923, and Tripartite Treaty of 9 November 1947 attests to the complete comatose state of the Article- 8. If the implementation of the 1950 Treaty has fully seen the light of the day, the boundary of Nepal would have stretched from Tista in the east and Kangada in the west.

 

The Article- 7 of the Treaty ensures the special privileges to the citizens of the both countries to live in each other’s land. The article says “Both the Governments agree to grant, on reciprocal basis, in the territories of the other the same privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, movement and privileges of a similar nature.” However, Indian nationals are prohibited from owning the land and property in Nepal. On the other hand, Nepali citizens are free to do such activities in the Indian terrain. It is compulsory for any person wishing to own a fixed property is legally required to produce Nepali citizenship certificate. As such, Nepal has ignored the same privileges to be provided to the Indian nationals.

  

In addition, the open border between Nepal and India can be well deemed as an informal means adopted for reciprocal movement of the people of the two countries in each other’s territory. But, there is not a single clause in any of the treaties (including the 19950 treaty), agreements, and understandings reached between Nepal and India that inscribes open border system. There is no mention of the word ‘border’ even in 1950 Treaty.

 

In this aspect, the then Indian envoy Sanjaya Verma had said on 25 June 2004 “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 neighbors.” What should be well understood is that India has accepted as there is no open border mentioned in the Treaty. However, Nepal has sincerely adhered to the notion of open border. But, India has been unilaterally adopting regulated border system as well as closed border system in some crossing-points along the bordering point, time and often in a discretionary manner.

 

The recent Indian imposition of the provision of identity card system for those Nepalese who moved through Bardia to India is a case in point. Likewise, the Indian authorities, before the beginning of Jana Andolan-2, adopted closed border system erratically, which created obstacles for those who moved to Indian territory via the border points located at Panchthar and Taplejung districts. Similarly, the deployment of 45,000 para-military force as Special Services Bureau by India unilaterally in the bordering areas of Nepal is also something that manifests hegemonic attitudes of India against the principle of international boundary.    

 

In a similar fashion, the construction of security posts and customs office along No-man’s Land can be taken as some more examples in this regard. On top of this, India had imposed ‘Economic Blockade’ to Nepal from 23 March 1989 to 30 June 1990. All the crossing-points had been closed unilaterally. There was no movement of people and goods and merchandise. This action was totally against the spirit of Article- 7 of 1950 Treaty. It has proved that the Article of the treaty is implemented in an unequal and unreciprocal manner.   

 

The Article- 6 of the Treaty mentions that each government undertakes to give to the nationals of the other, in its territory, national treatment with regard to participation in industrial and economic development. But the section-4 of the letter of exchange related to the article stipulates that “If the Government of Nepal should decide to seek foreign assistance in regard to the development of the natural resources of, or of any industrial project in Nepal, the Government of Nepal shall give first preference to the Government or the nationals of India.”       It shows that there is no other term rather than contrasting if one is to relate the Article-6 with its section-4 of the letter of exchange.     

 

Likewise, the Article- 5 of the Treaty states that “Nepal shall be free to import from or through the territory of India, arms, ammunition or warlike materials and equipment shall be worked out in consultation.” However, section- 2 of the letter of exchange conspicuously contradicts with this article by stating, “Nepal may import through the territory of India shall be so imported with the assistance and agreement of the Government of India.” But Nepal has been overlooking the provision of the section-2 and imported arms and ammunition directly from the third country without the consent of India. Undoubtedly, many Articles stipulated by the Treaty are in limbo. In this context, how meaningful will be to let survive the unimplemented Articles of the Treaty.

 

The Article-2 of the Treaty mentions that the two governments undertake to inform each other of any serious friction with any neighbouring State likely to cause any breach in the friendly relations. Section-1 of the letter of exchange says “To deal with any such threat, the two Governments shall consult with each other and devise effective counter-measure.” But, India has violated the provision of this agreement. For instance, in November 1962, when a border war broke out between China and India, the latter did not bother to furnish information about the same with Nepal. Nepal, too, exhibited lethargy to rope India into providing the war related information. It is pertinent to remember that after India was defeated during the 1962 border war, the Kalapani-Limpiadhura of Nepal was encroached upon by Indian militaries. So this Article has never come into practice.

 

Similarly, the Article-1 of the letter says, “The two Governments agree mutually to acknowledge and respect the complete sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of each other.” But India has not followed this section in practice. For example, 26 districts of Nepal have been adjoined with Indian territory. There are dispute, conflict, claim and counter-claims placed by India in 54 spots of 21 districts of Nepal along 1,808 kilometre borderline. The total disputed area has been estimated as almost 60 thousand hectares. This type of activity has virtually intended to disintegrate the territory of Nepal in contrary to the spirit of 1950 Treaty.                    

 

An assault against the liberty of expressing opinions

The Indian side, ignoring the spirit of the treaty, has cast blight on the basic tenets of the treaty by launching a severe assault against the liberty of expressing opinions of Nepali people. The recent visit of Sita Ram Yechuri, Indian communist leader, can be well taken as a maneuvered attempt of India to hold sway over the conscience of Nepali people. In a similar manner, when some Indian experts on Nepal like SD Muni, KV Rajan, Ashok Meheta and Karan Singh land in Nepal, the political atmosphere here sees a turnaround overnight. Political leaders succumb to the dictates of New Delhi in a submissive manner. As such, Nepal has never been free from the perspective of guiding herself by her own conscience even though the Treaty guarantees this liberty.

 

India has always inhibited Nepal from exercising its sovereign status. This fact can be safely attributed to the submissive tendencies of Nepali leaders who steer the state affairs. There were Indian Army Check-posts in 18 places in the northern border points of Nepal adjoining China from 19 February 1952 to 18 June 1970. At that time Indian soldiers were stationed in the bordering areas between Nepal and China.

 

The other fascinating thing is that, in his letter forwarded to the then Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru on 7 November 1950, Sardar Patel (India’s well known freedom fighter), had advised and wrote “The political and administrative steps which we should take to strengthen our northern and north-eastern frontiers. This would include the whole of the border i.e. Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Darjeeling and the tribal territory in Assam.”  

 

So, it is crystal clear that India has been reaping a lot of undue benefits at the expense of national dignity of Nepal by leveraging the lopsided Articles of the Treaty. By contradictorily interpreting the clauses of the Treaty, India is hell bent to turn Nepal into its vassal state. The Treaty is indeed serving as a ‘trump card’ for India to swell its vicious presence in Nepali political domain.  Undoubtedly, India is exerting political and psychological pressure on Nepal by misinterpreting this Treaty. And, many Nepali are not oblivious of this filthy fact.

 

Review or abrogation

It is, of course, rational to discuss whether the Treaty should be only reviewed or annulled at all.  Interestingly, India was in favour of annulling the treaty during the period of 1990s. Nevertheless, Indian foreign secretary Shiv Shankar Menan recently expressed willingness on behalf of India to review the Treaty as per the demands of time. Former Indian envoy to Nepal, Dev Mukahrjee had also opined, “In my perspective, the Treaty is not unequal. If it is so, it should be reviewed.” The other former Indian Ambassadors like Shiv Shankar Mukharjee, Shyam Saran, and KV Rajan apart from Indian communist leader Yechuri had also aired their views in favour of altering the thorny clauses of the Treaty.

 

Quite depressingly, Nepali side is still undecided as to whether the treaty should be reviewed or rendered null and void. Even though Nepali political honchos fervently raise the issues related to the Treaty, they seem flippant as far as meticulously scanning the contentious contents of the same goes. They never do home work and exercise how the treaty has adversely affected Nepal. The pathetic absence of a clear-cut perspective in the country’s political realm about the Treaty is palpable.      

      

After the CPN (Maoist) emerged victorious in the recently concluded constituent assembly (CA) elections, its Chairman Prachanda said that the Treaty should prevail no longer. However, CP Gajurel, who looks after foreign affairs of the party, contravened his Chairman’s remarks by stating, “There was scope for amendment to the 1950 Nepal-India Treaty.” One could say that it is the absolute asymmetry in the political spectrum of Nepal about the Treaty that has emboldened India to leverage it as a trump card.

 

Last item

The 1950 Treaty is inherently faulty as is evident by its unscrupulous and lopsided use. Besides, its startling incongruity with the related letter of exchange has rendered the various Articles of the Treaty completely irrelevant. As such, rather than tempering with this irreversibly defective Treaty, it will be prudent to throw it in the dustbin to give place to a new one.

 

It is to be noted that the last provision of the treaty i.e. Article-10 has mentioned as “The Treaty shall remain in force until it is terminated by either party by giving one year’s notice.” However, what should well fathomed is that the new treaty must not resemble the flaws of the old one.

 

The new treaty should be carved by taking into account the factors like mutual benefits, territorial integrity and, top of all, equality. Not to be outdone, while framing the new treaty, it behooves Nepal to pay sincere attention to the crucial subject matters like hydro-power generation, resource mobilization, human resources development, mineral exploration, tourism, border management and demarcation and industrial turnaround, among others. Otherwise, it can be safely predicted that Nepal will continue to be bullied by its Big Brotherness.

border@wlink.com.np

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