Syed Imran Sardar

Syed Imran Sardar is a Research Analyst at the Institute of Regional Studies, Islamabad.

DOI: http://DOI Number

Keywords: Big-brotherism, Kalapani region, asymmetric interdependence, Sagauli Treaty, cartographic maneuvering, Indo-Nepal border, security dilemma


The recent controversy between Nepal and India is triggered by the release of a new political map of India that placed the Kalapani region in the Uttarkhand state. New Delhi’s burgeoning interest in the Kalapani region is worrisome. Indian forces have been controlling this strategically important area since 1962. According to the Sagauli Treaty of 1816, Nepal claimed that the aforementioned area of around 337 sq km belonged to it. Nepal’s parliament, on its part, approved a new map showing Kalapani, Limpiadhura, and Lipulekh as its territory. With the constitutional amendment, this issue has become a permanent foreign policy irritant between the two states. In the backdrop of the changing geopolitical environment of the region, especially after a Sino-Indian clash at Ladakh, it would be naïve to say that New Delhi will occupy Nepal’s territory by force. Nevertheless, New Delhi will continue to exercise its influence to safeguard its security interests. Keeping in mind Nepal’s asymmetrical interdependence with India, foreign policy options for Kathmandu to reinforce its claims in the recent dispute over the Kalapani region to neutralise New Delhi’s ‘Big Brotherism’ are limited but achievable.

First Published

March 25, 2020

How to Cite

Syed Imran Sardar, “Big Brother Syndrome and Nepal’s Security Dilemma,” Regional Studies 38, no.1 (Spring 2020): 84-102,


Volume 38, Issue 1