India and Nepal Border dispute


In November 2019, the Home Ministry of India  publish a new revision of the Indian political map, manifesting J& K together with Ladakh because the  union territories of India. This goes together with the events of August 2019, once the Indian government invalidate Articles 370 and 35A of the Indian Constitution that had designated a special standing to the State of Jammu and Kashmir, consequently preferred the immediate release of a new map. Revised map also showed the disputed ‘Kalapani’ region in the  Himalayas as within India’s borders.The map portrayed the area as part of the Pithoragarh district in the state of Uttarakhand. Nepal straight off issued an objection to the map, because it identifies the region as an unsettled territory of the Darchula district within the country’s Sudurpashchim province. In November 2019 the Ministry of External Affairs, Nepal, below the leadership of foreign minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali additionally issued a press release for the media stating that, “The protecting government is committed to protective the country’s external borders and it’s determined on its principled  position that such border disputes with the neighboring countries ought to be resolved through diplomatic channels once assessing the historical documents, facts, and proof.”

In response, India has maintained that the map is “accurate”. The new map—and the ensuing objection from Nepal—bred the border disputes between the two countries. These disagreements involve not solely Kalapani in addition as areas like Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, and Susta.

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SourcePress Information Bureau, Government of India, 2 November 2019

This brief analyses the dispute over Kalapani and explores the reasons why India and Nepal have failed to arrive at a resolution since the Treaty of Peace and Friendship, concluded in 1950. It also outlines future scenarios in the India-Nepal border, and offers recommendations for both countries to avoid any escalation of conflict.

Indeed, the Kalapani area is of strategic significance in South Asian diplomacy as it serves as a tri-junction between India, China and Nepal. Given that Nepal is a “buffer state” between the other two countries—both with great-power aspirations in the region—the Kalapani dispute has important ramifications on the relations between the three.

Basics: treaties between INDIA-NEPAL

1950 Treaty of Peace And Friendship

According to this Nepali and Indian nationals to move freely across border without passport or visa, live and work in either country and own property or do trade or business in either country. There are innumerous of Nepalis living, owning property and working or doing business in India as beneficial aspect of treaty for Nepal likewise many Indians live, own property and do business in Nepal.

1950 Treaty of Peace And Friendship

Peace and Friendship gave the vision of continuity in Nepal’s protectorate relationship with the Raj and its successor, independent India.

As Chinese Communist Party consolidated its power in Tibet and offered assurances to Nepal, Kathmandu’s balancing impulses were back in action.

 Treaty of Sagauli

India and Nepal have so far been following the Treaty of Sagauli (1816) and their own 1960 agreement when it comes to the Kalapani border issue. According to the Treaty of Sagauli, the land east of Mahakali river is regarded as Nepal’s territory, and the land west of it as India’s territory

Both sides dispute the origin of the Kali river. Nepal claims the origin is in the higher reaches of this hilly territory, and thus, the regions of Kalapani and Lipulekh belong to them.

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 India and Nepal were both parts of the colonised sectors of the British East India Company. The Anglo-Nepal war of 1814 and the subsequent treaty of peace signed in 1816 resulted in the delimitation and the delineation of the border between the two countries.

 While the Mahakali River formed the western boundary, the Mechi River boundary was formed along the east with ridges in the Darjeeling hills and Sikkim. With this, more than 900 pillars made of stone were erected along the India-Nepal border for better connectivity.

It is ascertained that British demarcated their border through these ad-hoc and unstructured pillars for variety of reasons:

  • Nepal  troopers from the craggy terrains might simply be recruited for nation Army.
  • Markets in Nepal territory can be properly utilized for British-made goods; and raw materials.
  • Raw materials from Nepal like timber and firewood could easily be transported to India to benefit British.

Around a century later, this “open border” between Asian country and Nepal still remains. There are analysts WHO say that this “open border” makes the connection of the both countries “special”. On other hand, alternative analysts  are referring to what they call a  “liberal paradox” in reference to “open borders”. On the one hand, liberal theorists like Joseph Carens have argued, open borders originate a utilitarian setting, tributary to individuals living on either side of the demarcation. There would be free quality and correct implementation of the brisk accessible resources or raw materials within the space, benefitting particularly those in close proximity. On the opposite hand, the determination of the extent of such “openness” may be a question that makes a dilemma: that an “open border” would originate threats to established “liberal territorial polities and  that and communities” from non-state entities; these threats embrace act of terrorism, importing or trafficking.

India and Nepal were each elements of the colonized sectors of nation East India Company. The Anglo-Nepal war of 1814 and therefore the ensuant accord of peace signed in 1816 resulted within the bounds and therefore the delineation of the border between the both countries. whereas the Mahakali watercourse shaped the western boundary, the Mechi watercourse boundary was shaped on the east with ridges within the Darjeeling hills and geographical area. With this, over 900 pillars made from stone were erected on the India-Nepal border for higher property.

Challenges in Border Administration

India and Nepal have given minimum effort to resolve the constriction on their borders, together with within the Kalapani region that is that the subject of this transient. The Kalapani border has nonetheless to be properly demarcated, particularly the questionable ‘no-man’s land’ within the space.

 For instance, it absolutely was solely in month 2019 that a joint team of security personnel from the Armed personnel (APF) of Asian nation and also the Indian Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) lead a campaign for clearance with respect to the ‘no-man’s land’ within the border close to Sunsari and Morang on the Indian and Nepali sides, severally. Following this, people who were found to possess been intrusive the area—between border pillar variety 185/PP74 (main) to frame pillar variety 184 (main)—were disloged. Of those border pillars, twenty three were found to be missing within the Sunsari district. The most aim was to well-defined the area in order to overcome future troubles for the those who board in those areas and have the freedom to cross border the open system at any time.

The Nepal-India Joint Border examination Mechanism of 1981 and also the Nepal-India Joint Border Management Committee, shaped in 1997,are both noteworthy within the discussion concerning efforts that are created by each countries within the past. additionally, so as to create agreements and bilateral talks on border clearer, the Nepal-India Joint Technical Level Boundary Committee (JTBC) was recognized in 1981 (dissolved in 2008). These organisations principally worked to motivate a comprehensive border management system together with the restoration of the boundary pillars from Brits era and also the periodic examination of keeping the boundary intact. Boundary base maps and strip maps of 1:15000 scale covering fifty meters from either side were additionally created with the development of boundary pillars—which are primarily subsidiary or extra pillars within the specific riverine segments. Despite such efforts to form a rules-based order, many segments have remained at risk of disputes.

The Joint Technical committee worked for around twenty six years and completed ninety seven % of the boundary issues which can be categorized as comparatively minor in nature. The remaining 3 % was claimed to be on the far side their capability to resolve. This space includes the Kalapani-Limpiyadhura—the largest encroachment of 370 sq. kilometers, Susta of twenty four kilometers and numerous different spots occupying around fifteen kilometers. There square measure around seventy one spots covering a complete of 606 sq. kilometers. one among the foremost necessary reasons behind the continuation of such a standing is that the inaccessibility of previous m

One of the foremost important reasons of insecurity for India is that the presence of China, that shares one,439 kilometers of border with Nepal. Nepal and China had conjointly signed a boundary agreement once abundant dispute on twenty one March 1960.

 There have been issues concerning the Everest, to say one, that was finally and formally settled once the then visiting Chinese Prime Minister commie declared in 1960 that “Mount Everest belongs to Nepal.” From here, the border-related problems between the northern neighbour and Nepal are a lot of stable and peaceful, giving them the chance to nurture relations in different integral problems like trade and property.

 Furthermore, Nepal is additionally Associated as a integral part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of China. However, it should not be forgotten that South Asian diplomacy is much a lot of advanced than it always seems to be. one among the most cushions that India has bonded for itself, during this scenario, is that the contentious Lipulekh Agreement signed on fifteen might 2015 between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President XI Jinping. As specific, the Lipulekh passageway can be often used by India as and once needed. “Point 28, in forty one points joint statement, clearly violates Nepal’s sovereignty because it was signed while not Nepal’s involvement”. Frequenty Both countries are mentioning Lipulekh, the tri-junction between Nepal, India and China, in their bilateral statement since 1953, neither Bharat nor China, consulted Nepal before agreeing to open the route through Lipulekh”.

Map 3: Depicting Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh

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Source: Budddhi Narayan Shrestha, ‘Authenticity of Lipulekh border pass’, June 2015.

The Lipulekh Pass is that the most versatile and shortest route to succeed in Taklakot, a Tibetan administrative district of China (as shown in Map 2). it’s here that there’s the presence of a strategically necessary hill with vi,180 meters height on the south of Kalapani[43] . India’s access to the present passageway won’t solely build it economically sound with commercialism windows with Tibet, however would additionally facilitate its security and observation of the ‘Kalapani’. Asian nation isn’t unaware of this case and has since been conniving its diplomatic steps vis-à-vis each the regional superpowers.

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India and Nepal should draw their borders in an exceedingly formal and friendly manner, to avoid different disputes like the one over the Kalapani space. Asian country ought to additionally move on the far side its insecurities associated with China. though the Nepali Parliament has concerned the difficulty seriously, the 2 governments ought to fill the communication gap as a matter of urgency. Both Asian country and Nepal should invest in negotiating new border management agreements to require into thought recent events. After all, the strain of the days have modified since the time the Kalapani border dispute 1st emerged. within the method, the folks of each countries ought to be prioritised.

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