The incoming Maoists-led government plans to scrap the 58-year-old Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty and have a fresh pact reflecting new realties besides reviewing all other bilateral agreements."Our past policy towards the 1950 treaty remains unchanged, we want to scrap that treaty and replace it with a new one in the changed context," Maoist chairman Prachanda said as the former rebels were poised to head a new government. "We also want to review all other treaties signed between Nepal and India," the 54-year-old former school teacher said.
During the poll campaign, the Maoists said the treaty was 'unequal' which needed to be abrogated, a demand which was also made in the Himalayan nation eight years back. Under the treaty, people living in both countries could freely travel across the border for employment and reside in either place. There is a termination clause in the treaty and Nepal can do away with the pact, which is basically meant to address India's security needs, if it is uncomfortable. "I think a new dimension has now been added to our relations with India," Prachanda said.
"If we consider the situation right from the signing of the 12 point agreement with Seven Party Alliance in Delhi in November 2005 and now when the Constituent Assembly polls have been successfully concluded, an atmosphere has been created to forging a new unity on a new basis with India," he said. "We believe that in this new context Nepal-India relation should be taken to a new height in a more positive and constructive way," the CPN-Maoist party chief said.