Fifth Round Of EPG Meeting Concludes: Nepal For Open But Regulated Border

Fifth Round Of EPG Meeting Concludes: Nepal For Open But Regulated Border

Oct. 9, 2017, 8:57 a.m.

Although three governments have changed in the last two years, what has not changed is a member of communist-dominated Eminent Persons Group (EPG). Whether

After the fifth meeting concluded, Nepal has proposed removing illegal structures built on no-man's land along the Nepal-India border.

During the fifth Eminent Persons Group (EPG) meeting that concluded in Kathmandu, Nepali side made the proposal to maintain international standards and ensure scientific management of the border between the two countries.

“No man’s land has encroached from the Indian side. Nepali side has also found to have encroached the ‘no-man's land’ in some places,” said a member of the EPG from Nepal side Dr. Rajan Bhattarai. He said that the Nepali side has proposed removing illegal structures along the border in line with the existing international standards.

While Nepal-India shares border disputes in different places, the illegal structures built on the no-man's land have also caused the dispute between the two countries.

The head of the EPG from Nepal, Bhekh Bahadur Thapa said that they have proposed making the border further secure.

Thapa said that Nepal-India border needs to be regulated, not closed, to stop illegal activities along the bordering areas. “We need to understand the definition of an open border of the past in the changed context.  Both sides have stepped back from the traditional concept of ‘openness’,” he said while addressing a press meeting organized on Sunday.

The Nepali side had put forth all issues of contention including 1950 peace and friendship treaty with the Indian side during the two-day EPG meeting held in Kathmandu. Since they have not yet reached any conclusion yet, it is not appropriate to bring the issue to the public, according to EPG members from Nepal.

 Thapa said they have yet to reach agreement on whether to replace or amend the 1950 treaty with India or not. “We are all convinced that this will remain in the status quo. We would not wait for 70 years if this was to be scrapped altogether. This is the reason why we have chosen the path of the improvement,” he further said.

Interestingly, out of four members representing EPG, three members have clear in one or other way affiliation with the communist party- which are known for their anti-Indian stand.

Among four members representing Neaplai team, Nilamber Acharya, Surya Nath Upadhyaya, and Dr. Rajan Bhattarai are close to Communist Party of Nepal in one other time. Among three Bhattarai is a seating member of parliament representing CPN-UML.

Having known their views on Nepal-India 1950 treaty and other issues with India, no government has raised any question about their presence in a team which has been dealing with India.

Interestingly, no one raises any question over their affiliation and views. Even during the time when foreign ministry led by NC and the government led by NC now. Although any border issue will directly impact on the life of  Madheshi, there was no representation from Madhesh and Madhesi party.

 

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