Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D.

Introduction

The Anglo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D. was signed between Mulkaji Damodar Pande from Nepal and Captain Knox from the British East India Company. This treaty was signed when Rana Bahadur Shah retired to India with his eldest Queen Rajarajeshwori.

The main aim of the treaty was to establish a mutual relationship between the two countries based on co-existence and territorial integrity. This treaty succeded in the Commercial Treaty of 1792 A.D. and the Mission of Kirkpatrick.

Political Background of the Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D.

The Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D. was signed to exclude Rana Bahadur Shah from power. The courtiers under Damodar Pande sought support from the British East India Company to remove Rana Bahadur Shah from his position.

Court Politics of Nepal

Both Rana Bahadur Shah and the Basnet cum Pande Family sought the support and approval of the East India Company, but the Company Government favored the courtiers instead.

Rana Bahadur Shah had promised some lands and a trade route to Tibet in return for support, but the British Government was not interested in assisting him.

Captain Knox, representing the British, sent a letter to Gajaraja Mishra outlining provisions related to employment, conducting business between Nepal and Tibet, and the presence of a British resident in Kathmandu.

Negotiations

On October 26th, 1801 A.D., meetings and discussions on the provisions of the treaty were conducted between Gajaraja Mishra and Nepali representatives, along with Captain Robert Knox from the British side.

After finalizing the draft, the treaty was signed by Damodar Pande from Nepal and Captain Robert Knox from the British East India Company. The Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D. consisted of 13 points and marked an agreement of friendship between the two parties.

Provisions of the Anglo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D.

The Anglo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D. consisted of 13 points of agreement aimed at benefiting both India and Nepal. The major provisions of the treaty were:

1. The officers of both countries must work towards improving the relationship and progress of each other to benefit their citizens.

2. In case of any instability in either country’s geographical landscape, a thorough investigation must be conducted before taking any action.

3. Both states shall follow the Malla Era policy of “Same Friends, Same Enemies” with each other.

4. Border disputes between Nepal and Awadh shall be resolved with the involvement of foreign officials from both nations, under the mediation of the British East India Company.

5. The practice of providing elephant gifts by the Government of Nepal to the Company Government is to be discontinued.

6. Swami Maharaja Rana Bahadur Shah cannot oppose or act against the Government of Nepal verbally or in written form. He can keep 200 soldiers for his protection, but he cannot conspire against Nepal in any way.

7. A foreign official shall be sent to each other’s country to strengthen mutual friendship and ensure the proper implementation of the treaty.

9. Both states shall assist each other in case a third state attacks either Nepal or the Company Government with the intention of capturing them.

10. The representatives of both countries shall hold discussions to resolve border disputes.

11. Neither state shall act or conspire against the treaty. The treaty shall be continued for generations to come. Failure to obey the treaty will result in severe punishment from the Almighty God.

Conclusion

The Anglo-Nepal Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D. was a treaty driven by political concerns. It had several provisions that could potentially solidify Indo-Nepal relations at the time.

However, correct implementation of the stated provisions was crucial, and unfortunately, many of them were not properly executed. The unresolved border disputes between the two nations led to tensions and complexities in their relationship.

Cite