Panel for ‘fresh look’ into India-Nepal treaty

June 12th, 2008 - 8:26 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, June 12 (IANS) A high-level political forum Thursday called for a review of the India-Nepal Friendship Treaty, a pact that establishes close strategic ties between the two countries, in the wake of a newly elected government coming to power in that country. “The government should re-look into the India-Nepal Friendship Treaty,” said Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) party MP Sitaram Yehcury, who played a key role in bringing the Nepal’s Maoists into mainstream politics.

Yechury, who was accompanied by other members of the political forum, known as Nepal Democracy Solidarity Committee India, told reporters that the CPI-M had always felt that there was a need to have a “fresh look” at the treaty.

The forum’s demand for an update of the treaty comes days after Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) (CPN-M) Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal (Prachanda), who is tipped to be the country’s next prime minister, stated that the treaty should be scrapped.

The treaty was signed July 31, 1950 by then Nepali prime minister Mohan Shamsher Jang Bahadur Rana and Indian Ambassador to Nepal Chadreshwar Narayan Singh. It allows for the free movement of people and goods between the two nations and a close relationship and collaboration on matters of defence and foreign affairs.

D.P. Tripathy, Nationalist Congress Party leader and a member of the forum, pointed out that similar treaty between India and Bhutan was changed after latter had its first democratic elections earlier this year.

The solidarity committee, headed by communist veteran Harkishan Singh Surjeet, was formed to support the movement for democracy in Nepal.

Communist Party of India (CPI) general secretary A.B. Bardhan, MP Gurudas Dasgupta and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) MP Abani Roy are also members of the committee.

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