Sunday, Sep 25, 2022
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indo-nepal ties: policy review

The Light's Turned Red

Set to lead a regime in Nepal, Maoists subject India ties to a revision

The Light's Turned Red
The Light's Turned Red
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

Having long fed their cadres on the staple of India's 'evil design'—its perceived bullying and interference in domestic politics and the bourgeois nature of its state—Maoist leaders will encounter enormous pressure from below to bring about a shift in Nepal's foreign policy. Cooperation in hydel power projects might be looked at anew, Nepal's security structure could be rejigged, and Indian businesses are not likely to have a free run of the place as they have had till now. The new wind blowing in Nepal saw New Delhi send signals (rather hastily, some say) of its readiness to look afresh at the Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty, 1950.

Revision of the 1950 treaty has been an old Maoist demand, which was reiterated by Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist (CPN-M) leader Prachanda within days of the announcement of the CA election results. Prachanda did adopt a conciliatory tone subsequently, but the party opposes the treaty because most Nepalis feel it brings their country under India's security umbrella. Going by protocol signed under the treaty, Nepal can import arms only with the "assistance and agreement" of the Indian government. Another clause provides for preferential treatment to India in Nepal's endeavour to develop natural resources and establish industrial projects. This clause is on a reciprocal basis, but Nepal can't benefit from it because its technology is neither developed nor cost-effective. Such clauses have goaded the Maoists into accusing India of behaving like a big brother towards Nepal.

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