Copies of Indo-Nepal treaties 'missing' from royal palace

Copies of Indo-Nepal treaties 'missing' from royal palace
Kathmandu, June 19 (PTI) Two major treaties between Nepal and India, including the 1950 friendship pact, are among several historical documents missing from the royal palace following King Gyanendra's exit last week.

The National Archives too does not have copies of Nepal-India Sugauli Treaty, Nepal-India Treaty of 1950 and other documents related with the changes of 1951, 1960 and 1990, an official told the Himalayan Times.

An investigation panel formed to come up with details of royal property and unearth historic documents kept at the Narayanhiti Palace said it found no such documents.

A member of the panel said the former king did not return historic documents in possession of the palace.

Under the Sugauli Treaty, signed when India was under British rule, Nepal had to give away one-third of its territory, including the Garhwal and Kumaon regions, parts of Terai and Sikkim. The Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty was signed on July 31, 1950.

The Archives Preservation Act 1989 states that the government offices shall transfer official documents that are at least 25 years old to the National Archives.

But neither the ministers nor other government officials raised questions on the possession of such documents, the paper said. As a result, documents of national importance have been either taken away by the former king or have been destroyed, it claimed.

The committee member said no such documents of historic importance were found in the palace. "We asked in writing about the existence of historic documents, but there was no response from the palace," said the member.

He said a search should have been carried out right after the decision to depose the king.

The report is yet to be handed over to the government.

"We have plenty of religious, cultural and literary documents here, but do not have important documents related with great political changes," said Bhim Prasad Nepal, chief of the National Archives.

He added that the law plainly says that "the government officials should send original copies of such documents to us, but we do not have the authority to demand or penalise somebody for not sending such documents to us."

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