India-China-Nepal Fiasco: Explosive Triangle


Adeel Mukhtar

India is a hostile neighbour and its current border disputes with China and Nepal have exposed her hegemonic designs. Many may not know but India has a historical and consistent record of bad behaviour and creating border disputes with all its neighbours. As per Indian recent activities that are also highlighted in regional and international media, India has absorbed Hyderabad Deccan, Sikkim, Goa and Junagarh. It illegally occupies part of Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and Nagaland. It has also fought wars with Pakistan and China and militarily intervened in Sri Lanka and Maldives for this purpose. Moreover, India has stationed permanent forces in Bhutan, and has water disputes with Bangladesh, Nepal and Pakistan. In this context, there is an emerging explosive triangle in the region.

It seems like that Chanakya is up again and this time its target is the Kingdom of Nepal because of Indian recent actions in Nepal’s territory. After the Indian government inaugurated a link road to connect India with Kailash Mansarovar of China via Lipulekh region, a Nepali territory, various youth organisations in Kathmandu staged protests to mount pressure on their government to take necessary steps to make India return the territory. Nepalese government and netizens started objecting to the Indian infringement on their territorial sovereignty; the internet was abuzz with trends like #HandsOffNepal and #IndiaGoBack. On the other hand, Indian ministry of External Affairs was quick in responding and claiming that the road follows an existing route over which pilgrims travel to perform Yatra in Kailash Mansarovar (in China) and thus it was an Indian territory. India has violated a number of treaties, such as Sugauli Treaty – signed between the East India Company and Nepal in 1816 – which marks the Kalapani river as the western border of Nepal…While India maintains that the river begins in the village of Kalapani, Nepal claims that it begins from Lipulekh Pass, with its neighbours and has always deflected attention away from the opposing point of view through jugglery and Chanakyan tactics. The recent absurd policy of including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir in weather bulletins is a case in point.

The Indian attempt to nibble Nepalese territory may have far reaching consequences for Indo-Nepal bilateral relations as well as Indian diplomatic credibility in South Asia as a peaceful neighbour. The Modi-Amit-Doval (MAD) fiasco has not realised that the thousands of Gorkhas serve in Indian Army and other services; like the Sikh soldiers who revolted against Indian army in 80s, these Gorkha soldiers could also feel resentment in their rank and file, and may decide to adopt the path chosen by Sikh officers and soldiers after Operation Blue Star.

The Indo-Nepal treaty of 1950 is heavily tilted in Indian favour and because of her sheer size and military potential, India has violated it a number of times. Nepalese law does not permit an open border, and Indians, by law, should not be able to buy lands and properties in Nepal or carry out businesses in their names. The 1950 treaty was signed by undemocratic rulers of Nepal and can be scrapped by a one-year notice. The treaty has been unpopular especially among Pahari segments of Nepal, who often regard it as a breach of its sovereignty. India has repeatedly exploited mutual treaties and agreements with neighbours and Nepal is no exception. Almost all SAARC members, less Pakistan, have reluctantly cooperated with India because of its geographical centrality and coercive power. They may have to join hands to fight Indian aggressive posturing and arm twisting


Furthermore, Indo-China conflict has a history since early Sixties. China badly thrashed India in 1962 in both North Eastern and North Western line of Actual Control (LAC). As a matter of fact, Indo-China border does not exist and it is the longest un-demarcated border (3500kms) in the world. As reported by Indian media, in the latest conflict in the border area, Chinese troops (5000 to 7000) have crossed the LAC in Indian Occupied Ladakh. Indian military and political leadership is very quiet and looks to have been paralyzed. Indian defence analysts like Ajay Shukla, Brahma Chellaney and Pravin Swahni are criticizing Indian leadership for the face loss. While India was boasting about attacking GB and AK, it got a slap on the face from Chinese Dragon.

Indian media is doing a cover up and telling public that some Indian troops were briefly detained by Chinese Army. However, they must know that Abhinandan was also briefly detained by Pakistan and was released. Can Indian troops becoming Prisoners of Wat (PoW) for 48 hours be called to have been briefly detained. In other words, it seems like Indian Army and intelligence apparatus failed in the region and Mr. Doval, Bipin Rawat and Indian Army Chief Naravane should be sacked on this conundrum. As simple as it can be, Karma is biting India for his human rights abuses in the region. Nevertheless, rational measures should be taken to stop revisionist attitude of India in order to maintain strategic stability in the region.