Nepal and Pakistan relations exemplary

Buddhi Narayan Shrestha

Border expert, Nepal

The relations between the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan have been fostering since the establishment of the diplomatic ties between the two countries on 29 March 1960. These relations were fully established between 1962 and 1963, as both nations have sought to expand trade, strategic and mutual cooperation. After the establishment of diplomatic relations, the bonds of friendship and cordiality between these two countries have been strengthened, propelled by understanding and cooperation. The state of bilateral relations at present is based on goodwill, mutual cooperation, trust worthiness and friendship. As a result, the two sides celebrated the Golden Jubilee of the relations in 2010.

To foster their bilateral relations, Nepal and Pakistan signed a cultural agreement on May 25, 1970 which aims at promoting cultural relations, establishing inter-universities relations and cooperation between Radio and Television agencies of the two countries. Under an Air Services Agreement signed in August 1976, Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) has been operating between Kathmandu and Karachi sectors. Nepal and Pakistan have concluded a Tourism Cooperation Agreement on 17 February 2009. This Agreement is expected to contribute to the promotion of tourism relations between the two countries. Besides, a number of high level visits, both at the political and official levels, have further contributed towards cementing the friendly ties between them. Both countries share similar views on various regional and international issues.

Nature has blessed Pakistan and Nepal with unique landscape which could be rarely found in other parts of the world. There are several commonalities in the tourism sector, adventure and mountain tourism as well. The two countries are located just two hours flying sky distance from each other by International Airlines. There is, therefore, a vast scope for promotion of tourism sector through joint ventures.

Nepal has the Mount Everest or Sagarmatha (8848 meters), the highest mountain in the world. And Pakistan has the second highest peak of the world named as the Mount Godwin Austen or Mount K-2 (8611 meters).

Both Nepal and Pakistan have been divided into three major geographical regions in each country. Pakistan is divided into three major geographic areas as they are the northern highlands that include parts of the Hindu Kush, the Karakoram Range, and the Himalayas. This area includes such famous peaks as K-2.

More than one-half of the summits are over 4,500 meters, and more than fifty peaks reach above 6,500 meters.

The second region is the Balochistan Plateau. It is located at the eastern edge of the Iranian plateau and in the border region between Southwest, Central, and South Asia.

The third geographical region is the Indus plain adjoined with India. The name Indus comes from the Sanskrit word Sindhu, meaning ocean, from which also comes the word Sindh, This area consists of flat land with the river basin, adjoined with India.

Similarly, Nepal is also divided into three main geographical regions i.e. The Himalayas to the north, Middle Mountain in the central region and Tarai Plain on the south. Mount Everest (Sagarmatha), the highest mountain in the earth and seven other mountains having the altitude more than 8000 meters are located in this region. The middle mountain region is elongated east to west having Mahabharat Range and Siwalik Range. The Tarai plain is the flat Indo-Gangetic plain adjoining India.

Pakistan has five major river system having Indus, Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi and Sutlej. Nepal also has five river basin systems. These are the rivers Koshi, Gandaki, Karnali, Mechi and Mahakali.

Both Pakistan and Nepal have been bordering with its neighboring country India. Indo-Pakistan borderline is elongated as 2912 kilometer, whereas there are 1880 kilometer borderline between Nepal and India. Pakistan has border dispute with India in Kashmir area and the line of Control (LoC). The same way Nepal has also border dispute with India in Kalapani-Limpiyadhura and Susta area etc. All these points of similarities between Nepal and Pakistan may be counted as the gesture of multi- faceted relationship between the two countries.

Human resource development is a vital aspect in a country’s economic progress in the long run. Pakistan has been helping Nepal in development of its human resource by way of offering technical assistance through academic scholarships for education in the fields of medicine, pharmacy, engineering, dentistry, journalism as well as training in defense, management and banking sectors. Some Nepalese students have been pursuing medical course in Pakistan on self-finance basis as well. Nepal hopes that this quality human capital will go a long way in Nepal’s socioeconomic development.

The diplomatic relations between Nepal and Pakistan are underscored by the absence of any problem or disagreement and sharing of similar views on issues of mutual interest, there is a shared desire to expand beneficial cooperation in all walks of life.

Pakistan and Nepal enjoy what could be termed as exemplary relations. These relations are deep rooted, multi-dimensional and based on the recognized principles of interstate relations, such as mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity and non-interference in each other’s internal affairs. Both the countries have shared aspirations for amity, peace and tranquility in the region and have similarity of views on regional and international issues. Pakistan greatly values this relationship with Nepal which dates back to five decades and believes that bilateral ties will always flourish because of the principles on which they are based. In the same way, Nepal also has emphasized the relationship with Pakistan with a value of non-interference and mutual trust and friendly behavior.

Published with the author’s permission: Ed. 

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