India Nepal Relations – Infographics 2017
India – Nepal Relations
MoU on Motor Vehicle Agreement and flag off of Kathmandu-Delhi bus service ‘Pashupatinath Express’. This agreement would facilitate seamless and hassle-free movement of people of both countries, further enhancing people to people contact and also promoting tourism. It is modelled on a similar SAARC agreement.
The Line of Credit of USD 1 billion to Government of Nepal from EXIM Bank will be utilised for hydropower, irrigation and infrastructural development projects.
MoU on Twinning arrangements between Kathmandu-Varanasi, Janakpur-Ayodhya and Lumbini-Bodh Gaya as sister cities. PM handed over one Dhruv Advanced Light Helicopter (ALH) Mark III to the Nepal Army. This had been a long-standing request of the Nepal Army. It has been fully designed and developed by Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL).
India was the first neighbour to reach out to Nepal during the devastating earthquake of 2015
Major Issues in the relationship
Like Bhutan, Nepal being located between India and China, the relationship between the countries is also one of strategy to counter Chinese interests in our neighbourhood. The relationship has already gone through many ups and downs with the internal issues and conflicts of Nepal, rise of communist party etc. In 2006, a peace accord was signed by various parties in Nepal that paved way for the drafting of Nepalese Constitution.
The promulgation of Nepal Constitution in 2015 led to differences between Nepal’s hill elites and the Madhesis [the ethnic community residing in the borders of Nepal with Assam and West Bengal]. The Indian government was quick to express its displeasure at Nepal’s Constitution and even circulated a seven-point demand for amendments.
Nepal interpreted this response as a covert support to the protest against the Constitution led by its southern district population, the Madhesis and Tharu — the ethnic groups representing over 40% of the population in Nepal’s Terai region. They oppose the Constitution saying it is an attempt to their political marginalisation.
India’s response resulted in a set back in the immense goodwill which India had made for years especially with its humanitarian assistance during recent Nepal Earthquake.
The Indo- Nepal relations got worsened with the cold stance of the Indian government during Madhesi blockade at the Indo- Nepal border, thus resulting in the shortage of essential commodities in Nepal. [ Nepal being a landlocked country, it uses Kolkata and Haldia ports for its trade activities]
The strained relations between India and Nepal on account of the Nepal constitutional crisis was seen as an opportunity by China that had been trying to establish deeper ties with Nepal. In the last week of December 2016, China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) announced that it is planning to hold its first-ever joint military exercise with Nepal.
Also, Nepal is proposing to change some provisions of the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty with India. The treaty states that Nepal needs to inform or receive consent from India when it purchases military hardware from third countries. By amending the treaty, Nepal wants to change such provisions and make independent decisions on security issues, including the purchase of military equipment.
With the rising Chinese influence over Nepal, it is time for India to overcome continuing mistrust or resolve the remaining constitutional differences for a peaceful neighbourhood.
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