70 years of Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship
Seventy years ago, the Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship was signed. The treaty with Nepal was signed during the time of Chandreshwar Prasad Singh, India’s former ambassador to Nepal and Mohun Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana, then Maharaja. Governed by 10 Articles, the countries entered into the Treaty with the desire to "strengthen and develop existing ties and to perpetuate peace between the two countries."
Provisions under the Indo-Nepal Treaty
According to the Treaty, the two governments agreed to grant, on a reciprocal basis, to the nationals of one country in the territories of the other, the same privileges in the matter of residence, participation in trade and commerce. This facilitates Nepalese and Indians to move freely across the border without passport or visa, live and work in either country and own property or conduct business.
Nepal seeks a review of the friendship treaty with India
The Indo-Nepal Treaty of Peace and Friendship is called unequal by many Nepalese since Nepalese law does not permit an open border, and Indians, by law, should not be able to buy lands and properties in Nepal or carry out businesses in their names. They claim that the 1950 treaty was signed by undemocratic rulers of Nepal.
Deteriorating ties between India and Nepal
Although initially supported by both the Rana rulers and India, the treaty became the subject of increased resentment in Nepal, which saw it as an encroachment of its sovereignty and an unwelcome extension of Indian influence.
PM Modi's 2018 visit to Nepal
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to Nepal in May 2018 seemed to have put ties—strained by India’s opposition to the 2015 Nepalese constitution— back on a sound footing. Modi’s emphasis on culture, democracy and development was aimed at reaching out to the Nepalese people as well as politicians, underlining the vast commonalities between the two countries, against the backdrop of India’s strategic rival China making deep inroads into Nepal.
India, Nepal's ties worsen in 2020
Of late, India and Nepal relations have taken a turn for the worse. The immediate provocation is the long-standing territorial issue surrounding Kalapani, a patch of land near the India-Nepal border, close to the Lipulekh Pass on the India-China border, which is one of the approved points for border trade and the route for the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra in Tibet.