ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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India-Bhutan: A New Relationship

For landlocked countries, location is everything: the relations they have with the rest of the world, especially their neighbours, and also the very nature of their identity. There are those that retreat into isolation such as Mongolia, Switzerland which maintains its “careful neutrality” and the landlocked nations of east Europe which were very keen on integration with the European Union for it would reduce their dependency on their immediate neighbours. Denied access to the sea, landlocked nations have historically been bound to a state of dependency on their immediate neighbours. This has been the case with Bhutan and Nepal, India’s two landlocked neighbours in south Asia.

Nepal’s relations with India were long vexed by the very unequal terms of the 1950 treaty. Attempts on Nepal’s part to revise this had led to an ugly stand-off in 1990. Since then, a degree of mutual suspicion exists on both sides, notEconomic and Political Weekly April 7, 2007 1233 EPW alleviated in the least by the political turmoil that Nepal witnessed in the last decade and also China’s increasing interest in Nepal’s affairs.

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