Nepal | August 12, 2020

Extradition treaty not on PM’s China visit agenda

Rewati Sapkota
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The extradition treaty is not on the agenda. But other security-related issues will be discussed

  • Ram Bahadur Thapa, Minister of Home Affairs

Kathmandu, June 10

The signing of the Nepal-China extradition treaty is not on the agenda of Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s upcoming visit to the northern neighbour, expected to begin on June 19, as the government has refused to accept the draft of such a treaty Beijing forwarded recently.

“We have not held any discussion on the issue related to Nepal-China extradition treaty. The extradition treaty is not on the agenda,” said Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa in an exclusive interview to THT. “But other security-related issues will be discussed,” he added.  China had sought to sign an extradition treaty with Nepal in 2014 also.

Not only China, but India has also been seeking to revise the extradition treaty signed in 1953 to make it relevant in the present context. However, the government seems to be in no mood to entertain requests from both the neighbours.

“We have received proposals from both our immediate neighbours, but Nepal has so far not accepted the proposals,” said Thapa.

High-level officials said the government was for controlling cross-border crime and assisting the two neighbours through Interpol and in accordance with international laws. They said the government was hesitant to sign/revise extradition treaties with the two neighbours because it might be in a fix if neighbouring governments sought extradition of, say, a political leader who might be a law violator but was popular among the public.

“The government wants to maintain cordial relations with both the governments and peoples of neighbouring countries,” said a high-level official.

The government has already expressed its commitment not to let anyone conduct anti-India or anti-China activities from Nepal’s soil, and it is firmly committed to the one-China policy.

The Nepal-India extradition treaty was signed in 1953, and India has been seeking to review the treaty, adding a provision of handing over third-country citizens committing a crime in India, according to officials.

The Nepal-India extradition treaty has a provision for extraditing those accused of murder or attempt or conspiracy to murder, culpable homicide not amounting to murder, causing grievous hurt, rape, robbery, highway robbery, robbery with violence, burglary or house breaking, arson, desertion from armed forces, embezzlement while holding public offices, serious theft, stealing cattle, abduction or kidnapping, forgery and using what is known to be forged, counterfeiting or altering money, bringing into circulation counterfeit currency, receiving illegal gratification as a public servant, and escaping from custody while undergoing punishment after conviction for any of the offences specified in the treaty.

Both the neighbours have also been raising concerns about rampant cross-border smuggling.

“The government is working on addressing issues related to cross-border smuggling. It has floated policies and programmes to implement border monitoring through immigration agencies,” Home Minister Thapa said.

“The Eminent Persons Group has been working on resolving differences on border-related issues with India. These differences will be resolved once an agreement on India-Nepal border review is reached.”

A version of this article appears in print on June 11, 2018 of The Himalayan Times.

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