Unquiet Border between Pakistan and India

Look Nepal 2014

India’s official position is that Kashmir belongs to India. Whereas Pakistan’s official position is that Kashmir is a disputed territory whose final status must be determined by the people of Kashmir. Islamabad has always maintained that majority Muslim Kashmir should have been a part of Pakistan. A United Nations resolution adopted after the first war called for a referendum allowing the people of Kashmir to choose which country they wanted to join. But that vote for self-determination has never been held. Pakistan wants that referendum should take place. It is interesting that neither country wants Kashmir to become an independent nation as it is a small part of the earth. With this view, attempts to solve the conflict through political discussions were unsuccessful.

In the context of these conflicts and disputes, India and Pakistan have fought numerous armed conflicts with each other since their creation following the end of the British Raj and the subsequent partition of India in August 1947. The two South Asian nations have been involved in three major wars, one undeclared war and numerous border skirmishes and military standoffs. The Kashmir dispute is the major one and it has been the root cause of all major conflicts between the two countries with the exception of the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, where the dispute concerned the erstwhile East Pakistan.

India and Pakistan have fought at least three wars over Kashmir, as it is mainly called Indo-Pakistan Wars of 1965, 1971 and 1999 as followings. Much of the war was fought by land forces in Kashmir along the international border between Pakistan and India.

The Indo-Pakistan War of 1965 was a culmination of skirmishes that took place between April and September 1965. It was fought over the disputed border region of Kashmir. The five-week war caused the loss of 3,000 Indians and 3,800 Pakistanis. It ended in a United Nations mandated ceasefire and the subsequent Taskent Declaration (wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Pakistan_War).

The War of 1971 was a military conflict between two countries during the period between 3 to 16 December. It was closely associated with the brewing in erstwhile East Pakistan culminating in the declaration of independence as Bangladesh from the state system of Pakistan. This war saw the highest number of fatalities of 3,813 Indians and 9,000 Pakistanis. After 14 days of armed hostilities, the war ended with the creation of Bangladesh.

Indo-Pakistan War of 1999 is known as Kargil Conflict. It was an armed conflict that took place between May and July 1999 in the Kargil district of Kashmir and along the LoC. The cause of the war was accused as the infiltration, blaming each other by both the sides, violating the de-facto border between the two states. This was one of the recent examples of high altitude warfare in mountainous terrain. The loss was somehow less in comparison to the past wars. The number of fatalities was 527 Indians and 453 Pakistanis. The war was ended with international support to force to withdraw the forces along the LoC. All these skirmishes and wars and tension along the LoC show that Indo-Pakistan border is unquiet. It has affected the general people of both the frontiers of LoC.

The unquiet border issue should be resolved amicably with a spirit of brotherhood, free and frank manner and reciprocity and justice. As the past approaches reflect that the leadership in Pakistan and of the Kashmir with a positive and flexible approach has put forth several proposals to resolve the dispute. But it seems that India has not responded well to reciprocate. According to the partition Plan of India in 1947, the accession of the State of Jammu & Kashmir, either with India or Pakistan, was to be decided in the light of its people’s wishes and the geographic contiguity of that area.

A free and fair plebiscite under international auspices as per United Nations Resolution should be conducted to determine the will of the people of that region. Mahatma Gandhi had once said ‘If the people of Kashmir are in favour of opting for Pakistan, no power on earth can stop them from doing so. They should be left free to decide for themselves. (Complete Works of Mahatma Gandhi (1947), page 413, speech at Prayer Meeting, 26 October 1947).

Most recently, Prime Minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has invited India to come into dialogue mentioning that Pakistan is committed to resolve all the existing disputes including Jammu & Kashmir through the dialogue. Nawaz Sharif on February 5, 2014 said India should accept Kashmiri’s right to self-determination, and he invited it to resolve the issue peacefully through dialogue. Addressing a joint sitting of the Azad Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Kashmir Council on Kashmir Solidarity Day in Muzaffarabad, the prime minister said his government was ready to discuss all outstanding issues with India, including Kashmir. He invited India to engage in a ‘comprehensive sustained and result-oriented dialogue process.’ Sharif stressed that the region will remain in the grip of “mistrust and tension” as long as the Kashmir dispute is not resolved in accordance with the aspirations of the Kashmiri people.

The Prime Minister of Pakistan said, unless the Kashmir issue was resolved, there would be uncertainty in the region. He hoped India would respond positively to this invitation for a dialogue and fulfill the Kashmiri people’s aspirations to decide their fate. Fundamental rights and self-determination needed to be enforced, the Prime Minister said, adding the struggle of the Kashmiris was a reaction to the ‘atrocities’ committed by Indian security agencies (The Hindu, Islamabad, February 5, 2014).

            The most important matter is that India must reciprocate and come into dialogue for the peaceful settlement on Kashmir issue with justifiable manner.

Note: It should be read continuously after the scanned first page of the article.


Book Review: Sima Sangram (Border War)

Book Review : Sima Sangram (Border War)

Authored By:

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Reviewed By:

Senior Advocate Laxmi Prasad Upreti

Review- Sima Sangram


Border War

Border War (China-Nepal-India)

Border War Front Cover

There were Nepal-Tibet War (1788-89,  1791-92 and 1855-56),  Anglo-Gorkha War (1814-16)

Published 2012

Price US$ 10

ISBN  978-9937-8676-0-3

Publisher : Ratna Sagar Publisher P. Ltd. Kathmandu Nepal

               Table of Contents

  1. Border War
  2. War of Maps on the Border
  3. Border Education for Border War
  4. International Boundary Principle
  5. International Principles on the Riverine Demarcation
  6. Phases of International Boundary Demarcation
  7. Reasons of Border Encroachment
  8. Disputed Border Areas of the World
  9. Methods to Resolve the Border Issues
  10. Role of Maps to Demarcate the Border
  11. Water Boundaries
  12. Border on the Sky and to the Hades
  13. What is Junge (Masonry) Pillar
  14. Types of Boundary Pillars
  15. Border Pillar is the Protector of Nation
  16. Indian SSB Camps at Junge Boundary Pillar
  17. No-man’s Land
  18. Boundary Map
  19. Talk of Nepali Diplomats
  20. Nepal’s Boundary Agreement and Treaty with the Neighbouring Countries
  21. Principles Adopted during Nepal-China Border Demarcation
  22. Principles Adopted during Nepal-India Border Demarcation
  23. Given and Taken Lands between Nepal and China
  24. Number of Nepal’s Boundary Pillars
  25. Length of Borderline of Frontier Districts
  26. Boundary Rivers of Nepal
  27. Border Passes of Nepal
  28. Border Himal
  29. Northern Inter-Frontier Pastureland
  30. Indian Barrages on the India-Nepal Boundary
  31. Indian Minister Unknowingly on the Nepalese Territory
  32. Fencing on the frontier
  33. Indian Military Check-Posts on the Northern Frontier of Nepal
  34. When was the Birth of Nepal ?
  35. Boundary of Greater Nepal
  36. Condition of Boundary of Nepal and its Demarcation
  37. Border Management
  38. Mount Everest is the Treasure of Nepal
  39. What is Sugauli Treaty ?
  40. What is Kalapani Border Issue ?
  41. What is Susta Border Issue ?
  42. Abrogate or Revision 1950 Treaty ?
  43. Nepal should be a Bridge on Two Boulders
  44. Nepal as a Transit Country
  45. Identification Card during Border Crossing
  46. Security Concern related to the Boundary
  47. Border Security Force
  48. Indian Activities on Border Security
  49. Chinese Activities on Border Security
  50. Ethics of Boundary Surveyor
  51. International Federation of Surveyors (FIG)
  52. International Boundaries Research Unit (IBRU)
  53. Association for Borderlands Studies (ABS)
  54. Border Encroachments by India
  55. Nepal-China Settled Border Issues after Disputes
  56. War of Tongue on Kalapani Border
  57. Facts and Figures on Boundary of Nepal
  58. Definition of Boundaries
  59. Cartoon Sketches on Boundaries
  60. Reference Materials
  61. Glossary of Names




                               Border War


S. N.

Date of Border War

Name of Border War

Countries involved in Wars

Persons  Killed During War (Approx.)





First Nepal-Tibet War

Second Nepal-Tibet War

Third Nepal-Tibet War

Nepal and Tibet (Bhot)

Nepal and Tibet (Bhot)

Nepal and Tibet (Bhot)






Anglo-Gorkha Border War

Nepal and British India




Mexican-American Border War

USA and Mexico





Border War

USA and Mexico




Chaco War

Bolivia and Paragua




Battle of Lake Khasan

Soviet Union and Japan




Slovak-Hungarian War

Slovakia and Hungary




Battle of Khalkhin Gol

Soviet Union and Mangolia-Japan




Korean Border War

South and North Korea




India-China Border War

India and China




Indo-Pakistani War

India and Pakistan




Indo-Pakistani War

India and Pakistan




India-China Skirmish

India and China




Kargil War

India and Pakistan




India-Bangladesh Border Conflict

India and Bangladesh




Siachen Conflict

India and Pakistan




South African Border War

Angola and South Africa




Sino-Soviet Border Conflict

China and Soviet Union




Iran-Iraq War

Iran and Iraq




Paquisha War

Ecuador and Peru




Ethiopian-Somali Border War

Ethiopia and Somalia




Agacher Strip War

Mali and Burkina Faso




Thai-Laotian Border War

Thailand and Laos




Mauritania-Senegal Border War

Mauritania and Senegal




Conepa War

Ecudar and Peru




Eritrean-Ethiopian War

Ethiopia and Eritrea




Shebaa Farms Conflict

Israel and Lebanon




Djiboutian-Eritrean Border Conflict

Djibouti and Eritrea




Cambodia-Thai Border Attack

Combodia and Thailand




Sudan-South Sudan Border Coflict

Sudan and South Sudan


                                                                                                                                            Source: Wekipedia/First of border Wars.

                                                                                                                                      Based on: Triratna Manandhar et.al. (2012),

                                                                                                     History of Nepali Army, Kathmandu, Page 30-35 and 183-199.

                              Border Diplomacy

            Diplomacy is the processes of conducting negotiations between representatives of groups or states. The word is originated form Latin diploma, meaning an official document, which in turn derives from the Greek meaning a folded paper/document. It usually refers to international diplomacy, the conduct of international relations through the professional diplomats and experts with regard to issues of peace-making, trade, war, economics etc. In an informal or social sense, diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common challenge, one set of tools being the phrasing of statements in a non-confrontational or polite manner. As a matter of fact, diplomacy is related to the foreign policy.

               When we think about border diplomacy, we tend to think of administrative boundaries and border management system. Those demarcating lines; often grown out of rivers, mountain ranges, peaks, narrow passes; govern our daily lives, and that’s doubly so if we live in the frontier area, near to a neighboring country or state. We know that some boundaries are on some level unnatural, having homogeneous topography. In the same way there might have some identical human behavior, food habit and similar attire and language of both the frontier people. For example, driving around the Birganj town of Nepal and Raxaul of India makes this abundantly clear. Price of the daily consumable items and commodities may be not so different, as it can be difficult to tell which state you’re in, India or Nepal for the virgin visitors, and the small street of State Line Road does nothing to make it clearer, since there is no conspicuous and eye catching demarcation on both the sides of the crossing point.

               Diplomacy is highly related to the foreign policy of a country. In fact, Nepal’s foreign policy uses to be shaky time and often especially when there are incidents between Nepal and India and Nepal and China. Similarly, it fluctuates in connection to the changing relation between China and India. The most important thing is that border diplomacy has not yet chalked down in Nepal’s foreign policy.

               If I have to talk about the border diplomacy, it is the art and practice of conducting international boundaries negotiations between nations. It usually refers international relations through the intercession of professional diplomats and experts with regard to issues of peace-making culture through mutual understanding.  In addition, border diplomacy is the employment of tact to gain strategic advantage or to find mutually acceptable solutions to a common problem in relation to the historical and authentic documents and materials which are acceptable for both sides in a congenial atmosphere. At the same time, border diplomacy is an enterprise which necessitates an untiring supply of talented individuals with facts, figures and past incidents to convey and convince neighbouring boundary and surveying experts, in one or the alternative way.

               Nepal’s border diplomacy consists of two facets of the same coin. One is the border demarcation diplomacy and the other face is border management diplomacy.

1.            Border Demarcation Diplomacy

1.        Border between two nations shall be demarcated in a joint working basis with equal footing. Strip maps and GIS data concerning border business should be prepared and established jointly, since border is common to both nations.

2.        Boundary demarcation problems shall be resolved on the basis of friendship, brotherliness, mutual respect, understanding and reciprocity.

3.        Border shall be demarcated on basis of old maps, documents, co-ordinates and reference materials.

4.        If there are differences in some segments of the borderline, that shall be settled with the formation of joint technical level committee and high level joint commission with equal participation.

5.        Track-II diplomacy should be adopted to find out the modality, ways and means to make study and research for the amicable settlement of the problems. Diplomats must prepare a solution paper on the basis of facts, figures and past incidents. They must keep in touch with the counterpart Track-II diplomats of the neighboring country to find out the solution, agreeable to both nations.

6.        Content of solution paper shall be discussed broadly on the political level and it should be passed by majority with some amendment and addition. Finally it shall be adopted as the ‘National Border Diplomacy or Policy’ of the nation. This guideline policy matter should be adopted and spoken by all political party leaders, bureaucrats and technocrats with the counterpart personnel.

7.        Finally, Head of Government must talk to his counterpart of neighboring country, on the basis of national border diplomacy to negotiate and solve the border demarcation problems.

8.        If there is no way out even on the level of Head of Government, the diplomacy tactic shall be taken to seek mediation diplomacy form the third country. Both the nations should be entrusted to the mediating country.

9.        If the mediation diplomacy is not successful or entrusted, then the next step shall be to knock the door of the international institutions or organizations, such as United Nations Security Council or International Court of Justice. But it is the virtue of a country to inform officially to the neighboring country, before going to the international organization for petition.

10.     The State shall go to the international organizations to seek justice, on the issue of border business, to preserve the national sovereignty and to maintain integrity.

1.1          Nepal-India border demarcation diplomacy

1.        It is said that 97 percent of Nepal-India border has been demarcated. 182 strip-maps have been prepared and 8,553 border pillars and markers have been established.

2.        There are problems in remaining 3 percent of the border line. It means nearly 38 kilometer of borderline in various spots has not yet demarcated, since there are 1,880 kilometer border between Nepal and India.

3.        Within the spotted span of 38 kilometer, there are encroachments, disputes, claims and counter-claims in more than 71 places, having 60,662 hectares in area. The largest chunk of encroachment is the Kalapani-Limpiyadhura in Darchula district and its area is nearly 37,000 hectare. The second disputed/encroached area is Susta, as 14,500 hectare in Nawalparasi district. Besides, there are disputes, claims and counter-claims in other 69 places having 9,162 hectare of land. The smallest piece of encroachment is 240 square meter (Nearly half a Ropani) of land, located at Phatak of Pashupatinagar Village Development Committee in Ilam district.

4.        These 2 percent (38 km) of unsettled spots should be handled as per the norms of border demarcation diplomacy, as stated in above mentioned serial number one.

5.        High level Joint Commission, consisting of Track-II diplomats and intellectuals, should be formed to settle the outstanding issues.


1.2          Nepal-China border demarcation diplomacy

1.        Boundary Protocol should be renewed with an interval of ten years, since the demarcation was completed and first Protocol was signed on 20 January 1963.

2.        Border line shall be supervised and monitored jointly and report should be prepared in course of the renewal of previous Protocol.

3.        Damaged and missing border pillars and markers shall be repaired and established accordingly.

4.        New strip-maps shall be prepared digitally on the basis of previous maps, adopting new technology, such as Global Positioning System (GPS) observations and establishment of Geographical Information System (GIS) data.

5.        India-Nepal-China Tri-junction Points (Zero Marker) must be established on both ends of the border line with equal co-operation of both India and China.

2.            Border Management Diplomacy

         Border management diplomacy shall be adopted on the basis of dynamic equilibrium on both China and India. There is a quotation of the Late King Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great ‘Nepal is a yam between two boulders.’ But the situation has been changed and it has to be re-visualized in the changing context of not only Nepal, but also changing situation of China and India as well. Now it will not be exaggerated to say that ‘Nepal should be a bridge on two boulders.’

2.1          Nepal-China border management diplomacy

1.        Nepal and China has a regulated border management system. However, Tibetans sneak illegally to Nepal. So border management should be strengthened from both the sides. 

2.        border out-post and immigration check-post shall be established close to the border crossing points as far as possible, not to allow anti-China activity from the Nepali soil. Presently, these posts have been located ten to twenty kilometer far from the border line. For example, Lamabagar Police post at Dolakha district has been established 22 kilometer south of the border crossing-point. In fact, it should be established at Lapche Gaun.

3.        Policy to increase the number of border observation post (BOP) of Armed Police Force shall be adopted, so that illegal Tibetan infiltration will be checked.

4.        Nepali timber, Himalayan herbs like expensive Yarsagamba of Nepal, Red Sandalwood brought from India should be checked, not to export illegally to Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, establishing BOPs close to border crossing-points.

2.2          Nepal-India border management diplomacy

1.    At present, there is an open border system. But it has not worked well in the matter of security concern of both the countries. So it should be converted into regulated system in mutual co-operation with the perspective of security issue for both nations. Policy shall be taken to regulate the border in a phase wise basis.

2.    To start to be regulated the open border, number of Armed Police Force and BOPs shall be increased in the first phase. BOP should be established close to the border line, but not in No-man’s Land (Dasgaja Area). Presently, some of these posts have been located 2 to 4 kilometer towards Nepal side.

3.    In the second phase, identity card (ID Card) system should be introduced for the travelers, who cross the international border. But the frontier inhabitants, who are the residents with 5 kilometer of the border, should be permitted to cross the border many times a day.

4.      In the third phase, barbed-wire fencing shall be erected on the border. But there must be 376 exit/entry crossing-points, since the length of the border line is 1,880 kilometer. It’s high time to regulate Nepal-India border to obstruct cross-border terrorism, criminal activities, smuggling of counter-fit Indian currency notes. Regulated system shall be initiated with the joint decision, as the regulated system was implemented in air-route with a joint decision, after the hijacking of Indian aircraft from Nepal. 

3.            Issue resolving diplomacy

         Nepal must be very clear on the border diplomacy and boundary strategies to resolve the long outstanding chronic issues. The border diplomacy relating to Nepal-India boundary may be as followings :

u        Nepal must nourish, insist and present to India that Nepal and India are the countries which have equal right and status in the arena of international forum, no matter how big or small the countries are.

u        Attempt should be made to make them understand the problems in the higher level of the state.

u        It has to convince India and obtain confidence from them.

u        Nepal should be enabled to create a congenial atmosphere and environment for India for a ‘face saving device’ in the international arena to realize the border problems, for example the issue of Kalapani, with Nepal.

u        Lobbying must be made through the Nepal Embassies and Diplomatic Missions abroad to exert pressure through friendly countries of the world.

u        Matured and experienced diplomatic medium should be conducted to convince India.

u        Track-II intellectuals should be mobilized to talk to their Indian counter-parts to resolve the outstanding complex border issues.

u        Root of the problems must be identified through the consultations with the concerned experts.

u        It must be identified the ways and means to solve the problems with alternative measures, which will be agreeable for both the nations.

u        After that stage, there must be dialogues and discussions among the political leaders in a manner of cordiality.

u        At the end of rigorous inter-actions, political leaders must reach into a consensus point and that will be adopted as the national border diplomacy by all.

u        If the border problems with the neighbour are not resolved mutually, problems should be briefed to the friendly countries of the world unofficially as a side line during international meetings.

u        Global pressure should be exerted to the southern neighbour of Nepal to solve the issues, through the friendly countries directly or indirectly that could pay attention by India.

u        If none of these measures work, Nepal must seek mediation through the third country.

u        If the mediation is not accepted by the neighbour, Nepal must be ready to knock the door of the international organizations such as the United Nations (Security Council) and International Court of Justice (ICJ) for the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation. 

4.      Border Strategy

         In connection to the complex issues like Kalapani border encroachment, what will be the border strategy of Nepal, if India pleads as follows :

u        If India pleads that Kalapani belongs to them, what will be the strategy of Nepal ?

u        If India says that the then King Mahendra has given the area of Kalapani to India, how Nepal encounters to India ?

u        In case India reiterates, China has never said that Kalapani belongs to Nepal; in this situation, what will be the answer from Nepal ?

u        If India produces a proposal : Let us make the Kalapani area as a Buffer Zone (No-man’s land). What logic should be presented to India from Nepal ?

u        Alternatively, if India proposes: Let us deploy military battalions jointly at Kalapani area. What Nepal should do ? Whether Nepal’s answer will be ‘yes’ or ‘no’ ?

u        In the mean time if India wanted to take the Kalapani area in a lease for one hundred years, what will be the strategy of Nepal ?

u        Ultimately, if India proposes for the mediation from third country to resolve the Kalapani issue, which country will be acceptable for Nepal and on what ground ?

u        Finally, if India warns Nepal : If Nepal pushes the Kalapani issue in the international arena, Nepal must face the worst end result. What will be the strategy of Nepal ?

5.      Last item

         Study shall be made to know the feeling and intention of the people of both frontiers, on the alternatives of the existing border regime. Policy shall be formulated according to their wish and need. If there are some chaos and irritants on the border, the frontier people will be the first and direct sufferer.

         Policy for the integrated development (including physical, economic and social development) project in the frontier area should be formulated and implemented. Border area is a sensitive element of the nation. If there are some muddle and disturbances in border area, inhabitants of both the frontiers will be suffered directly in the very first stroke. Ultimately, it will affect the whole country.

                                      Definition of Boundaries

Alignment: A boundary line described in words in a treaty, and/or shown on a map or chart and/or marked on the ground by physical indicators.

Antecedent Boundary: It is a boundary line drawn before most of the features of the cultural landscapes existed.

Arbitration: A form of alternative dispute resolution (ADR), is a legal technique for the         resolution of border disputes outside the courts, where the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the arbitrators).

Artificial Boundary: Boundaries which are not marked by nature and which must therefore be marked physically on the ground by means of stones, markers or monuments placed by human being.

Border: A boundary between one nation (or a political division) and another. It means an area which adjoins the boundary line with a variable depth. 

Border Area: It means an area which extends inwards from the boundary line. Normally border area used to be considered as a “sensitive area.”

Border Diplomacy: It is an art or practice of conducting international boundaries between representatives of groups or states, in negotiating alliances, treaties, and agreements.

Border Line: A line of demarcation situated at a border between two states.

Boundary: Boundary is the line which indicates the outermost territorial limits of state sovereignty. It is a line, marking the territorial jurisdiction of a state or other entity having an international status.

Boundary Administration: This function is concerned with the regulation of activities in relation to the boundary line, so demarcated. The supervisory functions will include passport and customs regulation at points of entry on the land boundary routes and seaport.

Boundary Allocation: Allocation of a boundary is the process, which refers to political decision on the distribution of territory.

Boundary Treaty: It constitutes an objective territorial regime that is valid erga omnes, with an independent validity, even if the treaty itself comes to and end.

Conflict: Clash, competition, or mutual interference of opposing or incompatiable forces or qualities. It is a controversy, encounter, counteract in border issues (the judgement did not end the conflict between the parties).

Contiguous Zone: The water boundary that is a belt of water, the width of which is defined but does not exceed 24 nautical miles from the baseline.

Continental Shelf: The water boundary extended up to 350 nautical miles from the shore baseline.

 Controversy: A disagreement or dispute on boundaries, a justicable dispute. A case that requires a definitive determination of the law on the facts alleged for the adjudication of an actual dispute,

Delimitation: Delimitation is to compromise the determination of a boundary line by treaty or otherwise and its definition in written, verbal terms. It denotes description of the alignment in a treaty or other written source.

Demarcation: Demarcation is to comprise that actual laying down of boundary pillars or other similar physical means. It denotes the means by which the described alignment is marked, or evidenced, on the ground, by means of cairns of stones, concrete pillars, beacons of various kinds, cleared roads inscrub, and so on.

Delineation: Delineation of boundaries is, in practice, necessarily an outcome of the determination of territorial sovereignty.

Dispute: A conflict or controversy; a conflict of claims or rights, an assertion of rights on boundaries, claim or demand on one side, met by contrary claims or allegations on the other. Dispute involves a disagreement between two states on a point of law or fact, which consists of a claim or protest.

Encroach: To enter by gradual steps or stealth into the possessions or rights of another; to trespass or intrude, to gain or intrude unlawfully upon another’s boundaries, to advance beyond desirable or normal limits.

Encroachment: An infringement of another’s rights or intrusion on another’s boundary.

Exclusive Economic Zone: The water boundary extended up to 200 nautical miles from the shore baseline.

Estoppel: It facilitates an international boundary decision based upon the express or tacit       consent or good faith of the state concerned.

Fixed Boundary:Fixed Boundary is the boundary along the river where the boundary has remained in the same position as it was during the time of boundary demarcation, irrespective of the present position of the river.

Fluid Boundary: Fluid boundary is the boundary along mid-stream of the river. If it has changed its course suddenly and taken a new course, then the boundary on previous course should be the boundary. And if the river has changed its course by cutting its bed gradually then the present mid-stream of the river should be the boundary.

Frontier: In international law, that portion of the territory of any country which lies close along the border line of another country, and so “fronts” or faces it. It is the farthest limits of man’s advance that have been called the frontier.

International Boundaries: It comprises all boundaries between two nations, whether they traverse land, rivers, lakes, or arms of the sea through territorial waters out to the high sea.

Map: A map is a portrayal of geographical facts, which can provide vital evidence of the intended location of territorial boundaries. It may also be an independent document with the limited function of illustrating a legal text.

Median Line: A boundary line on the sea between two coastal nations. It is the water departing median line, apply the ‘proportionality test’ to check that the proposed boundary is equitable.

Natural Boundary: Lines of boundaries which are marked by nature, such as mountain crests, rivers, and shore lines of lakes and seas, have long been utilized in establishing natural or geographical boundaries.

Nautical Mile: The international nautical mile adopted for the water boundary by the International Hydrographic Organization measures 1,852 meters.

No-man’s Land: An area of unowned, unclaimed or uninhabitated land (a no-man’s land of bottom lands aggregation), a belt of ground between the most advanced elements of the other country (the no-man’s land that is neither wholly good or wholly evil).

Protocol: Protocol deals with the maintenance of the boundary line and the markers that charges both parties with the allocated responsibilities.

Relict Boundary: It is one  boundary line that has been abandoned but is still marked by differences in the landscape that developed during its lifetime.

Strip-map: A map charting only the immediate territory to be traversed, which appears a long, narrow strip showing only a narrow band of territory (as 500 meter wide and hundreds of kilometers long strip).

Subsequent Boundary: It is constructed on an existing cultural landscape along the boundary line.

Territory: A geographical area belonging to or under the jurisdiction of political authority: and boundary administrative sub-division of a country.

Territorial Boundary: The lines on the surface of the earth which separate the territory of one State from that of another or from the Open Sea.

Territorial Water: The water boundary that is a belt of water, the width of which is defined but does not exceed 12 nautical miles from the baseline.

Thalweg: The boundary line ‘determined by means of deepest soundings’ along the course of a river on the fastest current. Thalweg is the German terminology. Boundaries in navigable rivers and straits very commonly follow this terminology, or main navigable mid-channel (Thalweg).

Triple-Point: Triple-point is located at that point where three countries meet and three boundaries terminate. At each end of any boundary, unless one end is on the coast, the two countries concerned meet a third country at what is called a triple-point or tri-junction.

Uti possidetis: It is “As you posses, so may you posses” also in the case of boundaries. The term is derived from Roman law, “in which it designated an interdict of the Praetor, by which the disturbance of the existing state of possession of immovables, as between two countries, was forbidden.”

Vista: Where a boundary penetrates a forest, it is a common practice to cut a path along it and it is called “vista.” The width of the vista varies, four to eight meters being the usual range.

Watershed: A watershed (water parting) is a line of boundary on the crest of a mountain range from which the water seperates and runs down opposite slopes.


Border War

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                   Sima Sangram (Border War)


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A book entitled ‘Sima Sangram (Border War)’ written by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha and published by Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd was launched amidst a colourful program on 1 April 2013. The book was released jointly by the Renowned Culture Expert and three times Madan Prize Winner Satya Mohan Joshi, Chairperson of Avenues Television  Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar and Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Daily Sudheer Sharma.



During the book release program, the writer of the book Buddhi Narayan Shrestha said that the commentators will speak later the strength and weakness of the book; and what topics have been included and what are the lacking and short comings in the book. However, I would like to say something on the reasons of writing this book.


Many of my friends and well wishers used to enquire me that the northern neighbour of Nepal, that is China also might have encroached the Nepali territory. Why don’t you write it ? Secondly, as everybody knows that India, the southern neighbour has encroached the territory since long. Whether the encroachments have been stopped or resolved or increased in the current period. They were asking me to write and renew the position of our border business activities. So I have written this book with the title as ‘Sima Sangram (Border War)’ to pacify the inquisitiveness of my friends, colleagues and Nepali civic society.

Now let me first tell you on the border business of Nepal with China. After the boundary agreement in 1960 and boundary treaty in 1961, border demarcation was made during 1961-62. During the joint demarcation, there were claims, counter-claims, conflicts and disputes on 32 spots including the Mount Everest, the highest peak in the world. But it was settled amicably with a view of friendliness, brotherhood, equality, mutual respect, spirit of Panchasheel; and Nepal and China have the equal rights in the international arena, no matter the country has small or large territorial area and more or less population. It is commendable that all the controversies and disputes were settled for ever in the technical level. But the issue of Mount Everest was settled in the Prime Minister level. During the visit of Chinese Prime Minister Chou-en-Lai to Nepal, it was settled on 28 April 1960. In a press conference in Singha Darbar Gallery Baithak, the Chinese Prime Minister told that ‘we had some conflict on the issue of Mount Everest. On this issue we studied the hand made paper map and documents provided by the Prime Minister of Nepal Bisheshwor Prasad Koirala in the technical, administrative, political and diplomatic level; and the government of China came into conclusion and made decision that ‘Mount Everest belongs to Nepal.’ So all the demarcation work was completed in less than two years period.

However, some of the Nepali settlements like Chyanga and Lungdep of Kimathanka VDC of Sankhuwasabha district and some grazing lands for example of Humla and Dolakha districts were demarcated on the Chinese side. It may be due to the ignorance or slackness of Nepali team members, not paying attention to the problem. On the other side of the coin, some Chinese territory was demarcated belonging to the Nepali side. But most of these areas were snow covered steep and rocky area. Whatever it may be, it was all settled for all and there is no issue on it.


Currently, there are two issues between Nepal and China. The first is the border marker number 57 of Lapchigaun of Lamabagar area of Dolakha district. There is a claim and counter-claim on six hectares of barren land. The Nepali team says that the border marker was established in the wrong place in the Nepalese frontier. The Chinese team responded that it was monumented during 1961-62 demarcation period. So there is no point to remove the marker and establish on the Chinese frontier.

The other issue is the height of Mount Everest. The Chinese team pleaded that the height of the Everest must be taken as 8844.57 meter and this height should be written on  the Nepal-China strip-map. They have argued that China re-measured the height of Everest (Quolongma) and it is taken to the rock height.

The Nepali side responded that there is no point to reduce the height of Everest (Sagarmatha), short by 3.43 meter. Various countries of the world have regarded the height of Everest as 8,848 m. It should be taken the snow height. Nepali side is pleading that if we take the rock height of Everest, then we must take the rock height of other mountains as well; like Lhotse, Manasula, Kanchanjungha etc. Mount Godwin Austin or Mount K-2, the second highest mountain in the world of Pakistan has been measured with snow height. Taken into consideration to all these references, there is no point to reduce the height of Everest. And the issues have been stranded for the last six years between Nepal and China. Whatever it may be, the issue should be resolved talking with each other in a cordial manner.

Regarding the border issues with the southern neighbour, there were encroachments, disputes, conflicts, claims and counter-claims on 53 spots, a decade ago. Now the number of disputed spots have been increased to 71 places. Ten years ago, the total area of conflicts was 60,000 hectares of land in 21 Nepali districts; and now it has reached to 23 districts as 60,662 hectares. In such a way the disputed area, number of spots and number of districts have been increased by 662 hectares, 18 spots and 2 districts respectively within a period of ten years. I have mentioned the sources from various information of the government offices, Constitutional Assembly Committees and independent researchers.

The book has been targeted mainly to the readers who have interest on the national boundary issues. Similarly, this book will be useful for the College and University students who have been engaged on research, study and thesis writing on the boundaries. It is also worth reading for those who are interested on the Himal of Nepal, mountain passes and border crossing-points of Nepal with the neighbouring countries.

Besides, security concern agencies, especially the border security force and other organizations such as Armed Police Force, Nepal Police, Nepal army, local administration and Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs could use this book as basic source of information and knowledge on the boundary of Nepal with India and China. Similarly, the book will be helpful for the Survey Officers who are engaged on the border demarcation business. This book can be utilized by the surveyors during the preparation of Public Service Commission Examination for service entry and competitive post promotion.

Nepali youths have to become aware of the shrinking of Nepali territory, whether it might have been pushed from the Chinese side or Indian side. National boundary is the integrity of the country. If the boundary shrinks or encroachment continues, it may ultimately challenge to the existence of the nation. It is the responsibility of the government, general public and more so the youths to secure the Nepali territory intact.

In the book release function, Culture Expert and three times Madan Prize Winner Satya Mohan Joshi highlighted on national boundary issues and mentioned tendency of the Nepali political leaders. Joshi said, he is very much obliged to the publisher and writer of the book in writing and publishing such a nationalistic book. He further said, there is no understanding of the border issues in the present political leadership. This book of Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is an important document of border consciousness. As the chief guest of the program, Joshi urged the government has to safeguard Nepali territory from the Indian clutches. He appealed that the time has come for our youths to play the role as the protector not to let shrinking Nepali territories.


Culture Expert Satya Mohan Joshi further said, Junga Bahadur Rana was the most far-sighted in view of the protection and preservation of national boundary of Nepal. J B Rana has done a very commendable job retrieving back the lost territory of the districts of Banke, Bardiya, Kailali and Kanchanpur from the British East India Company. It is worth mentioning that he did not accept the new territory of four districts unless it was demarcated by Masonry (Junge) Pillars with ten yard strip No-man’s land on both the sides.

In comparison to Junga Bahadur Rana, the then King Mahendra was not far-sighted on the border issue. While returning from China visit, the King directly went to Tundikhel KhariKo Bot (Parade Ground Khari Tree) and the King said, ‘it is a matter of happiness that half of Sagarmatha (Everest) is ours and the remaining half belongs to China.’ The King had said that the peak of Sagarmatha is ‘half and half.’ In this aspect Satya Mohan Joshi said, the King is not nationalistic. He should bring the peak of Everest to our side.

He recalled that the United Nations Population Division had invited to the then government of Nepal to enumerate the population of Nepal in connection to establish the census data- how much is the world population ? Since the population of even small countries like Nepal would not have been included in the world census, the global population census statistic would not be completed. He mentioned that Thir Bahadur Rayamajhi, Nara Kanta Adhikari, Keshar Bahadur Karmacharya, Hridaya Nath and Satya Mohan Joshi (he himself) were included in the census enumeration team of Nepal. We had participated as Officer Level personnel from Census Department of Nepal. An international training center was established in New Delhi to impart training for the uniformity in all the countries.


At first, population data of eastern Nepal was taken in 1952 and western Nepal was covered in1953. At that time census population was enumerated in a symbolic method. During that period the inhabitants of hilly and mountainous region like Kalapani was counted in a rough estimate. Now Kalapani area has been encroached by the neighbour. Their eyes have been rooted in Kalapani. Our political leaders are sleeping. It is a gesticulation that Nepali territory has been encroached. But we are silent and mum.

At the end of his talk Satya Mohan Joshi said, whatever it may be- this book Sima Sangram (Border War) has brought us border awareness. This writer of the book has worked as a ‘Border Watch Dog.’ If Buddhi Narayan Shrestha stops barking on the border issues, Nepal will sink. Boundary is very important for the sovereignty of nation. National boundary must be protected by us, the Nepali people. We should work as Army men for the protection and preservation of our boundaries.

As a co-launcher of the book, Chairman of the Avenues Television Bhaskar Raj Rajkarnikar made public that various challenges and criticism have to be born while televising and raising the border issues of Nepal through the electronic media. Buddhi Narayan Shrestha’s written achievement as book has inspired us to work and go further ahead in the border related aspect. Rajkarnikar opined that he is pretty sure that the present book ‘Sima Sangram’ will help to let understand the border issues to the Nepali people and to carry on study and analysis by the researchers.


This book will be useful to the electronic media to expose and solve the border issues of Nepal. At the same time the present book has created a wave on the border matter. Everybody must understand that boundary is an integral part of the nation. For this purpose, Avenues Television has utilized the experience and knowledge of Buddhi Narayan Shrestha on the matter of border business and we have provided information to the Nepali people through him.


Sometimes there are complaints from the so called friends, while Avenues Television raises the border problems. They say, why you have raised the question of borders and frontiers ? In response, we use to make a counter question- ‘While we televise the actual situation of our border, why you feel your border uncomfortable ?’

Another co-launcher of the book Sudheer Sharma, Editor-in-Chief of Kantipur Daily expressed that the book is an energetic source of information even for the journalism.


He praised Buddhi Narayan Shrestha for his comprehensive effort to review Nepal’s border issues. Shrestha’s articles and write-ups with the related reference, data, date and actual incidents  are clear in language, straight forward in subject matter and easy to read. So we heartily publish his articles in our Kantipur Daily. This is the reason we have given him space in our daily newspaper. With the eyes of journalists, we can regard Buddhi Narayan Shrestha as the ‘Watchman of the national boundary of Nepal.’ His work is incomparable, so we must be grateful to him.


As Sudheer Sharma recalled his memory of ten years ago while going for reporting on the Kalapani border encroachment area he said, border encroachment issue will not get substantive decision until and unless the state leadership is active. We are entangled into the internal boundaries, like the boundary of Federal States; by which the state agency who looks after our international boundary is ‘disabled and defunct.’

As a commentator on the book, Former Ambassador Hiranya Lal Shrestha expressed his comment that the first and foremost work to protect the national boundary of Nepal should belong to Nepali Army man. He opined that the former Maoist rebellions who have been engrossed in the Nepali Army contingent should have been deputed for the security of national boundary. Army should be involved in the Joint Boundary Committee. As it is known that Military Officers usually keep account about border security.


He pointed out with a sharp criticism to the political leaders of Nepal that our leaders are mum even while the national boundary has been encroached and violated by the neighbours. He made a point that Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is the true border ‘Watchman’ without government uniform. He has been monitoring the border for its protection. He is a patriotic intellect to save the border. His present book has the holistic comparative study of the border problems.

We should formulate integrated border development program in the border areas. We should develop border towns and Ex-Army men should be inhabited in the frontier area. Frontiers on both the sides must be peaceful, stable, crimeless and free from terror to march ahead for prosperity. We should be careful against disintegration. We must be vigilant and self respectful for the security of our national border.


Political leaders do not have time to look after the national border. But Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is the vigilant and fore runner on the border matter to create awareness to the civic society. His book ‘Sima Sangram’ is a lively document of border awareness. The speed with which Indian aggression is continuing, a day will soon come the Indian aggression will arrive at Singha Darbar, if the leaders are mum and apathetic.

Open border between Nepal and India has been misused. There are smugglings of goods and materials through the open border. So the border should be regulated and fenced for the betterment of both the countries.

The other commentator Prof. Dr. Surendra KC of Tribhuvan University History Department said, large country like India has encroached the territory of small country like Nepal. If there are open and unrestricted movement, privileges and trans-migration of these days; there will be a remarkable short fall in Nepal’s population.


Expressing his worriness Prof, KC opined that there will be an alarm of Nepal nationalism due to the free and open movement of the people through the international boundary. He further said, 95 percent of the border demarcation between Nepal and India has been completed. The remaining 5 percent on the various spots of the border has alarming questions. Our border on various spots have been encroached. It is a question mark that what is the expectation of the neighbour ?


Prof. KC said, Buddhi Narayan Shrestha is vigilant on border activities. Shrestha is worried about the border encroachments. He keeps information where there are border issues. Wisdom and specialities are the great elements. For this we have to congratulate Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. With him, we have to be updated ourselves on the condition of our frontier and the tendency of border encroachment. Actually, History Department of the Tribhuvan University should take up these matters. But the department is reluctant.

In the beginning of the program, Chairman of the publisher of the book or Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd Arjun Kumar KC welcomed all the guests and dignitaries who were present in the book release function, on behalf of book publishing company and his own.


He said, we have published the book ‘Sima Sangram’ written by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. We are proud of him. He believed us and we published his book. This book has full of national sentiment to create the awareness on the current situation of boundary and border issues of Nepal with the neighbouring countries.


At the end of the program, as the Chairman of the function and Managing Director of Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd Mohan KC said, we are the business men and intend to earn some money by publishing the books. This is the general nature of the book publishers as business men. We are aware of the professional ethics and responsibility. But we are committed to the nationalism and national integrity rather than to earn something. So we publish the books which have national feeling and sense of sovereignty and integrity of the nation.


With this perspective, we have published the book ‘Sima Sangram (Border War)’ authored by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. We are happy for this publication. We don’t mind if we don’t get anything from this publication. But we think it will help to preserve and protect the national boundary of Nepal. This is great for us.

If the intellect persons write on the national issues in any theme, we print and publish it for the sake of nation. We believe that we have to provide national and sovereign feeling as an education for the future generation.


The publisher of the book further said, British authors had written and put down on the paper whatever the subject matters they liked, concerning our nation as well. And we have obtained that as for our reading materials and we have gained some knowledge. Now, we the Nepalese must write ourselves in any of the subject matters about us and our nation, as it may be the history. That should be truthful and based on reality and it will provide a clear picture for the future generation. In this context, we are happy to publish the book authored by Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. We call the other intellectuals and researchers to write books on nationalism for the development of our nation. We are committed to publish that sort of composition.

Master of Ceremony of the program (MC) Thakur Belbase, senior Journalist of Image FM 103.6 Radio said, the book ‘Sima Sangram’ is published by the Ratna Sagar Publication P. Ltd. The price of the book is Rs. 300. But right now it is available at the cost of Rs. 200 only for the respectable guests and audiences of this program.


At the dead end of the program, traditional snacks were served with pop corn, onion Pakora, rosted potato with pickle. The venue and snacks were provided complementary (free of cost) at Bhojan Griha by the owner Bharat Basnet. He is the Chair person of Explorer Group Nepal. The organizer and Buddhi Narayan Shrestha thanked Basnet for his generosity. Everybody knows Basnet that he has a Movement of Nationality and he is the main activist of ‘Prithvi Narayan Shah the Great, who started to unify Nepal.’ Prithvi Narayan Shah formally established Nepal as a Himalayan State and thus Nepal was born on 17 November 1769.

Prithvi Narayan Shah

The book launching program was attended by more than 250 invitees and guests, various facets of the society consisting from ordinary people to the former Minister, retired Commissioners, former Ambassadors, University teachers. human right activists, former Army men, Armed Police Force, renowned musicians, senior Journalists, Chair persons of various organizations and institutions. Some of the representative participants were as followings :


Former Minister Marshal Julum Shakya, Former Chief Election Commissioner Bhoj Raj Pokhrel, Former Chief Commissioner of Commission for investigation of Abuse of Authority Surya Nath Upadhyaya, Former Secretary of Ministry of  Home Affairs Chandi Prasad Shrestha,  Former IGP of Armed Police Force Sanat Kumar Basnet, Former Army Major Kuber Shrestha, Former SP Dr. Chuda Bahadur Shrestha, Former Rector of Tribhuvan University Dr. Surya Lal Amatya, Former Ambassadors Dr. Mohan Prasad Lohani, Pushkar Man Sing Rajbhandari, Dr. Bishnu Hari Nepal, Former Consulate General Tamla Ukyab, University Professors/Teachers Prof. Dr. Rama Basyal, Prof Dr. Gopal Pokharel, Dr. Raj Kumar Pokhrel, Dr. Ramesh Dhungel, Prof. Dr. Uma Kanta Silwal, Dr. Hari Prasad Shrestha, Human Rights Activist Dr. Ram Dayal Rakesh, Former SOS Director D B Thapa, Former Survey Director General Toya Nath Baral, Former Chairman of Nepal Bar Association Biswo Kanta Mainali, Senior Lawyer Sindhu Natha Pyakurel, Past President of Nepal Mountaineering Association Aang Tshering Sherpa, Energy Activist Ratna Sansar Shrestha, Former Chairman of Nepal Airline Engineer Sugat Ratna Kansakar, Former Director of Nepal Airline P N Vaidya, Former Registrar of Supreme Court Shree Prasad Pandit, Greater Nepal Activist and Film Director Manoj Pandit, Senior Journalist Bhairab Risal, Capital FM 94.3 Radio Director and Journalist Byakul Pathak, Renowned Musician and Folk Song Singer Raamesh Shrestha, Chief Tax officer Bala Ram Sapkota, President of Border Concern Civic Society Chetendra Jung Himali, President of China Study Center Madan Regmi, President of JICA Alumni Association of Nepal Engineer Dilli Ratna Shakya, President of Nepal Council of World Affairs Tika Jung Thapa, ICCN Chairperson Dr. Anjan Shakya, Travelogue Writer Prateek Dhakal and so many other dignitaries and high ranking persons.



(Collected from Kantiur Daily, Kathmandu Post Daily, Gorkhapatra Daily, Annapurna Post Daily, Weeky Telegraph, Video, Avenues Television, News24 Television, Image Channel Television etc.)           

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