Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee is on a three-day visit to Nepal. Nepal must seek equal respect from the neighbor by raising the issue of continuous border encroachment by the Indian side.
Nepal has continuously faced a series of border encroachments from the Indian side. It has been an issue of independence and sovereignty, long torturing the Nepalis.
Nepal’s previous rulers never raised the issue of border encroachment and sovereignty while they dealt with top Indian leaders.
Should the current Maoist-led six-party coalition government powerfully raise this issue with the Indian prime minister while he is in Nepal, this will be something notable.
However, this government will also gradually lose people’s trust if it cannot strongly present itself on the side of Nepali sovereignty and independence.
Moreover, many armed outfits that claim to have been fighting for the liberation of the Terai region in Nepal use Indian weapons and shelters for their terrorist activities in different Terai districts. Such groups have been able to prove neither public support nor any ideological or political vision. Bombing public places and murdering innocent civilians as well as kidnapping people for money have been their most usual activities. So long as Indo-Nepal border remains open, many other crime industries using the morally and economically corrupt border areas will continue flourishing.
Can Nepal’s leadership ever raise this issue? Can they dare to propose to close the Indo-Nepal border?
Closing the Indo-Nepal border does not harm Nepal and India as nations. The ones most likely to suffer from the closure of Indo-Nepal border will be those profiting from smuggling and evasion of customs taxes.
There are various factors contributing to crimes in the Nepali society. One of the major factors is definitely the misuse of the Indo-Nepal open border. The border has been misused continuously for 58 years after the British East India Company quit India.
It is not very suitable for a large democracy like India to eye on Nepali territory with an intention to capture Nepal’s ruling mechanisms.
But the most blameworthy are the members of the Nepali ruling class. They give higher priority to glamorizing themselves through political power backed up by external forces while ignoring the basic sense of national sovereignty and independence.
In the meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Nepal’s Foreign Minister Upendra Yadav must raise this agenda. But it is likely that it may be ignored in the name of the non-inclusion of this border encroachment issue in the prescribed agenda.
After all, all forces that have reached the top place in the nation’s top political authority through chances or hard struggles have not dared to take bold steps to protect Nepal’s territory that signifies the Nepalis’ sovereignty and independence.
At least, it would not be harmful to let the visiting Indian External Minister Pranab Mukherjee that the Indian side has deliberately and forcefully encroached Nepal’s territory in hundreds of places from east to west and that it is utterly wrong from the perspective of international relations norms and universal fraternity.