Nepal Eminent Persons Group seeks review of 1950 friendship treaty with India

Seeking extensive review of the 1950 India-Nepal Friendship Treaty, the government-appointed Eminent Persons Group (EPG) has held discussion on “regulation” of movement of people across the border. Nepali sources confirmed that at the latest meeting of the EPG held on 8 October, the Nepali delegation brought proposals seeking changes required in the friendship treaty and the need for border policing to stop cross border crimes and trafficking.

“The mandate that was given to the EPG following the meeting between [then] Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 20 February 2016, included taking a serious look at a possible review of the friendship treaty which was concluded decades ago,” said Dr. Bhes Bahadur Thapa, coordinator of the Nepali team to the EPG.

Better border policing

Dr. Thapa urged for better border policing and effective regulation of movement of people. “The border between two sides is already delineated and the border posts are already in place but many of these markers are damaged indicating poor maintenance. There is an urgent need to police the boder better to stop cross border crime and ensure regulated movement of people.”

The EPG was constituted during Mr. Oli’s India visit on 20 February 2016 towards the end of the blockade that was imposed by the Madhesi agitators from Nepal’s plains bordering U.P. and Bihar. As per the agreement, the EPG is to consist of eight members with four members representing each side. Hinting at growing stress in ties, sources have confirmed that a visit by PM Modi that was to take place this month, has been postponed.

The observations of the Nepali team at the EPG indicate at the chill in bilateral relation that is yet to recover from the blockade of 2015 imposed by the Madhesi protesters of Nepal’s border areas that Nepal blamed on India.

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Printable version | Jan 21, 2022 9:45:09 PM |

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