India–Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty (1950): Does it Require Revision?

Nihar R Nayak is Research Fellow at Manohar Parrikar Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses, New Delhi. Click here for detailed profile.
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  • July 2010

    The Treaty of Peace and Friendship signed between India and Nepal in 1950 has been a subject of debate within Nepal. The issue has been regularly featured in left parties' election manifestos in Nepal and become an agenda item in bilateral talks. India has agreed to review, adjust and update the treaty while giving due recognition to the special features of the bilateral relationship. Nepal's reservations to the treaty are based on the argument that the treaty compromises Nepal's ability to pursue an independent defence and foreign policy. The article examines the relevance of the treaty and prospects of India-Nepal relations in the changing international scenario. It argues that Nepal has benefited much more than India from the treaty. However, considering changes in strategic equations in the region, India-Nepal bilateral relations must be remodelled into a strategic partnership that seeks to promote security, modernisation and prosperity.