Will they do it? A day after burning copies of some Nepal-India treaties they term unequal including the Sugauli Treaty, the 1950 Peace and Friendship Treaty and the Mahakali treaty in Kathmandu and other parts of the country the Maoists today said that they will take up the issue of border encroachment during their leaders meeting with visiting Indian foreign minister SM Krishna, who reached Kathmandu today on his first official visit to Nepal. During a meeting with Indian Minister Krishna scheduled for tomorrow, Maoist leaders including Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal will insist on scrapping the 1950 Peace and Friendship treaty between Nepal and India, resolving the encroachment of border problems, publicising secret treaties signed between the two nations and redefining the ties between the two countries on the basis of equality. “We will discuss by focusing mainly on four or five issues including the scrap of unequal treaties, border disputes, improve relations between the people of the two counties and review treaties in the interest of both the counties,” said Maoist Spokesperson Dinanath Sharma, talking to Radio Kantipur today.
When asked what kind of impression would it have if raised by a party instead of discussing it at government or diplomatic level, the Maoist spokesperson remarked that all the rulers of Nepal ever since the Sugauli treaty were “surrenderists”. He said that his party was compelled to raise the issue through people as they could not be sorted out through diplomatic means.
Maoists have not answered what exactly did they do on the same issue when their leader Dahal led the government for nine months and visited India twice as the Prime Minister of Nepal. The Maoists had organised a function yesterday at Ratnapark in Kathmandu to burn treaties at about 4.30 pm.
Meanwhile, Nepal and India today reached an understanding to resolve border disputes and the controversy over alleged encroachment of Nepali soil by the southern neighbor through mutual understanding at the political level. The understanding was reached during official bilateral talks between Foreign and Deputy Prime Minister Sujata Koirala and Indian External Affairs Minister SM Krishna. The Indian minister is on a three-day official visit starting today.
“The deputy prime minister and foreign minister [Koirala] raised the encroachment of Nepali soil [by India], including in Susta and Kalapani,” Dr Chiranjibi Nepal, Koirala´s advisor who attended the meeting, told myrepublica.com about the talks between the two foreign ministers.
“India is positive towards our proposal to review the treaty,” Koirala told journalists after her meeting with her Indian counterpart at Dwarika Hotel. “We have directed the foreign secretaries to move toward making preparations for reviewing the treaty.”
The Maoists have been hitting the streets in the past couple of months demanding restoration of civilian supremacy in Nepal. As part of the fourth phase of the agitation, they have been pointing their anger towards India. Top leaders of the party visited areas where Indian side have encroached Nepali land.
Though many in Nepal want the 1950 treaty to be updated reasoning that the same is unequal there is no clear consensus in divided Nepali polity on how it should be reviewed.