Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 A.D.


The Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 was conducted between Democratic India, led by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, and Nepal, under the Rana Regime, led by Mohan Shumsher. The treaty was signed by Mohan Shumsher and Indian Ambassador to Nepal C.P.N. Singh.

The treaty aimed to acknowledge the territorial sovereignty and independence of both countries mutually. However, some Nepali foreign policy experts viewed it as an unequal treaty that was not in Nepal’s diplomatic interests.

Political Background of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950

After the official end of the British Raj in India in 1947, India was partitioned into the Union of India and Pakistan. With India gaining independence, a wave of constitutionalism and democracy spread worldwide, leading to protests against the Rana Regime in Nepal.

The Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal actively campaigned against the Rana Regime. In response, Mohan Shumsher sent his son, Bijaya Shumsher, who was the Chief Director of Nepal’s Foreign Department, to Delhi.

The Rana Regime benefited from the treaty temporarily, as India agreed not to support any events against them. On the other hand, India also benefited, as Nepal’s relations with China were less likely to grow stronger after the treaty. The treaty also aimed to promote an anti-colonial sentiment during that period.

Provisions of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950

On 31st July 1950, the Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 was finalized, signed by Mohan Shumsher from Nepal and Ambassador C.P.N Singh from India.

Some of the provisions of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 A.D. include:

1. Both India and Nepal shall acknowledge each other’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, and independence with respect and dignity, maintaining a friendship between them.

2. In case conflicts with a third nation cause tension and problems in the foreign relations of India and Nepal, both states shall inform each other and work together to resolve the conflict.

3. Both states shall exchange ambassadors based on international law and strive to enhance diplomatic relations with priority on mutual friendship.

4. All treaties, agreements, and provisions made between Nepal and India, represented by the British Raj and the Company Government, shall be considered null and void under the authority of this treaty.

5. Citizens of both states can travel, purchase property, and conduct transactions in each other’s territories with other perpetual benefits. Both states shall allow each other’s citizens to conduct business, establish companies, and engage in commercial interchange.

6. Both states shall exchange general consuls, consuls, vice-consuls, and other diplomatic personnel, stationed in cities and towns designated by the states.

7. Both states, through discussions, shall allow the purchase of required arms, ammunition, and other military necessities for national defense and security.

Analysis of The Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950

The Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 introduced an open-border system between Nepal and India but also imposed considerable limitations on Nepal. Foreign policy experts argue that this treaty should be dismissed or amended according to the requirements.

They believe that this treaty made Nepal defensively aligned with Tibet and China. Despite claiming Nepal’s independence, in practice, the open-border policy made Nepal dependent on India.

During the negotiation process, Indian diplomats and India exercised significant soft power over the Ranas. Although there were points of clarification on controversial provisions between the two states, the treaty was still ratified by the Ranas due to their desperate situation.

They sought necessary support from the Indian government to suppress rebellions against their regime. Therefore, the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 was more of a transactional treaty carried out without good faith. It was accompanied by the Trade and Commercial Treaty of 1950.

Also, the Treaties that were dismissed by the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 A.D. are as follows:

  1. Commercial Treaty of 1792 A.D.
  2. Friendship Treaty of 1801 A.D.
  3. Friendship Treaty of 1923 A.D.


The Indo-Nepal Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950 is considered one of the most controversial and unequal treaties in Nepal’s history of foreign policy. Signed between the governments of Nepal and India, the treaty was initially aimed at establishing close and cordial relations between the two neighboring countries.

However, over the years, the treaty has been criticized for the unequal power dynamics it created between the two nations.

One of the major issues of Contention is the provision within the treaty that requires Nepal to seek India’s prior consultation and consent on matters related to its defense and security. It has directly harmed the Strategic Interests of Nepal.

Furthermore, the treaty has been accused of perpetuating an unequal relationship between Nepal and India, with some arguing that it has favored India’s interests at the expense of Nepal. This has led to calls for a revision or even the complete abrogation of the treaty in order to redefine the bilateral relationship on more equal terms.

Some argue that Nepal was instrumentalized, while others maintain that the treaty acknowledged Nepal as a sovereign nation and should not be overly pondered upon.