Why India must secure its borders with Nepal?
Under the 1950 India-Nepal treaty, we allowed people from Nepal to freely enter our country and take up jobs here. Since then, Naxalism has emerged as a big issue, and the corridor from Pashupati in Nepal to Tirupati in India is a belt of mines and minerals. Due to the porous border with Nepal, countries like China and Pakistan, and agencies like ISI have explored that route. Nepal is becoming like Kashmir with anti-India sentiments brewing within. We should fence the border like we have done with Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Why did you blame the Gandhis for ties with Nepal turning sour?
In 1986-87, (the then PM) Rajiv Gandhi imposed a blockade on Nepal for three months and ensured that no water, salt or oil reached the Himalayan country. Between 1971 and 1975, (then PM) Indira (Gandhi) never took Nepal into confidence on the Bangladesh issue, nor when Sikkim was merged into our territory. The same is true of Jawaharlal Nehru’s policies during India’s war with China in 1962. This is why Nepal feels that India is unjust towards it.
The Opposition has blamed Narendra Modi for the situation with Nepal.
All this didn’t happen in one day. Nepal was a Hindu nation that became a secular country. Modi is the first Indian PM to visit Nepal in a very long time since he wanted to maintain good ties with the country. People there also welcomed him. But over the years, the relations have deteriorated so badly that it cannot be mended in a day.
Nepal’s Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli also has accused India of trying to destabilise his government.
He is the eighth prime minister Nepal has got since the end of monarchy there. Nepal is trying to blame India for its internal turmoil.
Didn’t it all start go downhill after India tried to dictate terms during the drafting of Nepal’s Constitution last year?
Nepal shares its border with us, and over the years the country has been responsible for fuelling agitation among its Madheshi population there. It is a matter of concern for us. Any law and order situation there will mean pan inflow of refugees to India and it will then be our responsibility.