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Decoding the India-Nepal dispute

Things are not looking good in the Himalayas. And it’s not just because of India’s longstanding border dispute with China and recent skirmishes along the Line of Actual Control.

On Tuesday, Nepal’s Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Oli convened an all-party meeting seeking a consensus on amending the constitution to include the strategic northwestern tri-junction with India and China – Kalapani, Limpiadhura and Lipulekh – within Nepal’s territory.

It could turn out to be a significant political move, though the amendment has not yet been endorsed by Parliament at the time of writing. Oli obviously wants to negotiate with New Delhi from a position of strength.

Nepal maintains that the 1816 Treaty of Sugauli, ratified by both sides, designates the (Maha)kali as the boundary river. It considers the treaty as the only authentic document on boundary delineation and all other documents as “subsidiaries”.

A lot has changed in Nepal since India’s defence minister Rajnath Singh opened the track linking India and China through the disputed territory on May 8.

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