If there was a list of countries India has the best relationship with, Nepal would have made a place in that list easily. India and Nepal had a subtle relationship for decades. Not only citizens of both countries can cross borders without Passport but also they can do work and earn in each other’s country. But in last few weeks things are not looking well. All these started when the Prime Minister of Nepal K.P. Oli said that India is illegally occupying Nepal’s land.
WHAT IS THE ISSUE ?
Nepal released an updated map that includes areas like Limpiadhura, Lipulake,Kalapani. This parts belongs to eastern most parts of Uttarakhand. On Nov 2019 India released a map that included this areas in Indian territory. On 8thMay 2020, Indian government inaugurated a 80KM road, which goes through this disputed area for Kailash Man Sarovar yatris. Nepal protested against this move and said Lipulake pass belongs to Nepal so India had to do agreement with them. Ministry of External Affairs of Indian government said that Lipulake is inside Indian territory. Protests erupted in Nepal. On 15th May 2020 Indian army chief said china is involved in protests in Nepal.
WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THIS AREA?
In the 1800s Nepal was Kingdom of Gorkhas. Anglo-Nepalese war of 1814-1816 took place between Kingdom of Gorkha and British Raj in India, that ended with ‘TREATY OF SUGAULI’. According to the treaty Sikkim, Darjeeling area went to British Raj. And it was decided that western boundary between two territory would be along Mahakali River. Mahakali River has two sources in the north. Width of western source is larger than eastern one. So the Britishers gave that extra piece of land of Lipulake, Kalapani, Limpiadhura to Nepal.
But the Britishers realised the value of that land in 1860’s so they included it back in their territory. Nepal also not objected because very few people used to live there, in that difficult terrain. Till 1960’s there was no issue but in 1962 Nepal showed Lipulake and Kalapani as their territory but not Limpiadhura.
In 1990’s Monarchy got abolished in Nepal. Nepal became a democratic country. In July 2000, PMs Of both countries discussed on this issue. But the discussion did not go far because India refused to fulfill Nepal’s demand to take away army from this area. On May 2015 India-China signed a Trade agreement and made trade route in this area and then Nepal’s PM protested against it.
VIEW OF BOTH SIDES:
Nepal’s view is Last agreement that was signed was Sugauli Treaty. According to that this area belongs to them.
India’s counter can be Why Nepal did not say anything between this large time period.
But let’s be clear. If historic treaties come into play, many borders will be changed that will hamper the peace throughout the World.