1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty still a divisive issue
Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on August 1, 2010
Himalayan News Service
KATHMANDU: The 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Nepal and India continues to remain a divisive issue. The treaty, signed this day in Kathmandu 60 years ago, divides analysts, experts and political leaders of the country.
Participants at a seminar organised here today on ‘The 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Nepal and India and Nepal-India relations’ aired different views.
Some opined that Nepal conceded a bit too much to India, others argued that the treaty remains underutilised, some called for revision and review, while others demanded scrapping of the treaty.
Nepal Sadbhavana Party Lawmaker Anil Jha said the treaty per se was not a problem. The problem lies in Nepali political parties, said Jha. “India is ready for a revision but Nepal has failed to forge consensus regarding the treaty.” He also accused the parties of using the treaty for their interest.
Bhesh Bahadur Thapa, former Nepali ambassador to India, said the treaty was a diplomatic issue. “It should be dealt diplomatically,” said Thapa.
Emphasising on the need for Nepal’s clear diplomatic stance on the treaty, Thapa said, “It is not a political agenda. The problem has cropped up because it has been politicised which is wrong on Nepal’s part”.
First Secretary at the Indian embassy Anshuman Gaur said Nepal-India relations could not be confined to any paper or treaty. India has already agreed for the revision of the treaty and has asked Nepal to come up with suggestions and demand for the revisions to be made, said Gaur. “But India has not got any demand or suggestion so far from Nepali side” added Gaur. “As the treaty has allowed Nepali citizens to have property, employment and has given privileges even to join government services in India, the treaty has provided Nepal an opportunity to share with larger Indian economy”. Human rights activist Daman Nath Dhungana said the treaty could benefit Nepal substantively. The treaty has granted Nepali citizens special privileges in the matter of residence, ownership of property, participation in trade and commerce, in India, said Dhungana. “Nepal can benefit from the growing Indian economy by virtue of the provisions made in the treaty,” added Dhungana.
“Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 is not in full practice. Some of the provisions aren’t respected by India, whereas Nepal has failed to comply with some other provisions,” said border expert Buddhi Narayan Shrestha. For the full and effective implementation of the treaty, Shrestha suggested that a revision of the treaty was necessary and there should be a new treaty where there would be less possibility of boarder dispute as it is now.