On 1950 Treaty, ball ‘in India’s court’: MembersWith the Nepali side formally presenting clause-wise position on amendment to the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Nepal and India on the first day of the second meeting of the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on Tuesday, the ball now is in India’s court, members said on Wednesday.
With the Nepali side formally presenting clause-wise position on amendment to the 1950 Treaty of Peace and Friendship between Nepal and India on the first day of the second meeting of the Eminent Persons’ Group (EPG) on Tuesday, the ball now is in India’s court, members said on Wednesday.
Bhekh Bahadur Thapa, coordinator of the EPG from Nepal, on Tuesday formally presented a proposal seeking to amend some clauses of the 1950 Treaty. The key clauses of the treaty that Thapa put for discussion were “need for India’s consent for Nepal to purchase defence from the third countries, recruitment of Gorkha soldiers and preferences for India in the development of Nepal’s natural resources”.
The EPG meeting concluded in New Delhi on Wednesday.
Members from the Nepali side believe that the second meeting was a step ahead towards amendment to the treaty and that the third meeting scheduled for December in Pokhara would make “substantial progress if the Indian side comes up with its point of view on Nepal’s proposal”.
“The second meeting has produced a concrete result, which is a step ahead towards achieving our goal as there has been an agreement in principle to amend the treaty,” said Rajan Bhattarai, a member of the EPG from Nepal. Until now, the issue of amendment to the treaty was taken up only by the Nepali side, according to Bhattarai. “Now both sides have taken ownership. Before the third meeting, the Indian side will consult political leaders and government officials to make their position on Nepal’s proposal.”
Nihar R Nayak, a research fellow at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses and also a Nepal-India expert, however, said that Nepal should come up with a written document on how it wants to amend the treaty. “Nepal should come up with a draft detailing which clauses it wants to change and how,” he told the Post. During the second day of the meeting, BC Upreti, an EPG member from the Indian side, presented a paper on social and cultural relations between the two countries and shared how these factors have shaped bilateral relations.
The EPG, which has four members each from both countries, was formed with an aim to look into the totality of Nepal-India relations from independent, non-governmental perspectives and suggest measures to further expand and consolidate the close and multifaceted relations between two countries.
The first meeting of EPG was held in Kathmandu in July.