Nepal-India Open Border: Prospects, Problems and Challenges

This paper discusses the history, socio-economic implications, and challenges associated with the Nepal-India border and the movement of goods and people between the two countries. It recounts the history of mutual exchanges between Nepal and India in a chronological order, starting from the evolution and demarcation of the Nepali-Indian-Chinese borders to the treaties signed by the two governments. It argues that as is the case presently, throughout history too, there has been unrestricted movement between the two countries namely for trade, commerce, army recruitment, employment and refuge, among others. Both sides have faced myriad challenges linked to the open border, such as smuggling of illegal drugs, artefacts and arms, human trafficking and criminal activities. At the same time, however, the relationship between Nepal and India has strengthened through religious and cultural exchanges, agricultural and economic activities, and matrimonial ties that are facilitated by the open border. The author concludes by recommending more dialogue and research to address the challenges arising from the open border.

Kansakar, V.B.S. 2003.


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