Repeal and reform
Mains: General Studies- II: Governance, Constitution, Polity, Social Justice and International relations.
The editorial discusses India-Nepal bilateral relations.
- Nepal Prime Minister made a friendly gesture towards India by telephoning the Prime Minister of India to convey greetings on India’s Independence Day.
- This was followed by a meeting of the India-Nepal Joint Project Monitoring Committee chaired by the Indian Ambassador to Nepal and the Nepal Foreign Secretary.
- The committee was set up to review progress in a large number of bilateral cooperation projects.
- Founded on the age-old connection of history, culture, tradition and religion, India-Nepal relations are close, comprehensive and multidimensional and are pronounced more in political, social, cultural, religious and economic engagements with each other.
- However, the Nepali side has upset the status quo by taking a series of unilateral actions.
- A relatively minor dispute involving about 35 square kilometers of territory around the Kalapani springs, was expanded to claim a large wedge of Indian territory towards the east, measuring nearly 400 square kilometres.
- The expanded claim was incorporated into Nepal through a constitutional amendment and a revised official map.
- India should be willing to engage in talks with Nepal on all aspects of India-Nepal relations. But any talks on the Kalapani issue should be limited to the area which was the original subject for negotiations and Susta.
- To agree to talks which include the unilateral changes will create a very bad precedent not only in India-Nepal relations but in managing India’s borders in general. This is irrespective of Nepal presenting historical documents or maps which support its claims.