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India and Nepal: Can BIMSTEC be the key?

  • IASbaba
  • February 8, 2022
  • 0
UPSC Articles
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Jan 20: A new year for India and Nepal: Can BIMSTEC be the key? – https://www.orfonline.org/expert-speak/a-new-year-for-india-and-nepal/ 

TOPIC:

  • GS-2: India and its neighbourhood
  • GS-3: Security challenges and their management in border areas

India and Nepal: Can BIMSTEC be the key?

Context: The bilateral relationship between the Himalayan country of Nepal and India in the new year of 2022 was inaugurated with an amicable telephonic conversation, between both the Minister of Foreign Affairs – what comes across is a reflection of both the countries attempting to explore better dimensions of their bilateral ties through both pre-existing and new ventures. 

  • This stride would help to go beyond the cold demeanour of the recent past, post 2019, encompassing issues ranging from border disputes to the delay in supplying COVID-19 vaccines from India. 
  • During 2021, Kathmandu remained embroiled in an unstable and fragile internal political scenario with the establishment of the new government led by Sher Bahadur Deuba. 

The Border Dispute

  • The immediate provocation is the long-standing territorial issue surrounding Kalapani, a patch of land near the India-Nepal border, close to the Lipulekh Pass on the India-China border, 
    • Lipulekh Pass is one of the approved points for border trade and the route for the Kailash-Mansarovar yatra in Tibet. 
  • However, the underlying reasons are far more complex where Nepali political class by raising the banner of Nepali nationalism paints India as a hegemon that creates distrust between the neighbours.

Image courtesy: TKP

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