Nepal’s overtures to Lahore for an alliance against the British
During the reign of Maharaja Kharak Singh, when tension between the virtual ruler Nau Nihal Singh and the British was well known, Nepal, especially Senior Queen Samrajya Laxmi, made several attempts to invite the Sikhs for an alliance against the British. But, the British Resident in Nepal, W.H. Hodgson, through his network of spies, always got information about messengers and obtained copies of documents being carried by them. British informers in Lahore Durbar did tell their principals, that the Sikhs considered such Nepal gestures as foolish.
Following is a translation of an August 1840 draft of a proposed treaty between Lahore and Nepal. British Resident, W.H. Hodgson obtained and sent to Government of India on September 21, 1840:
Draft of treaty between Lahore and Nepal, proposed by Nepal
“The interests of the Khalsa Sirkar (Sikhs) and of the Goorkha Sirkar are become one, on this account if any trouble or attack (Bhir) fall upon the Khalsa Sirkar from the English or others (Melech Adi) The Goorkha Sirkar will aid the Khalsa with all its means of money and troops. So, if a trouble or attack of English and others (Melech Adi) fall on the Goorkha Sirkar, the Khalsa Sirkar will come to its aid with all its means of money and troops.
“Both Sirkars have agreed to the above terms and ratified them by this solemn treaty (Dhurma Puttra). Whichever party violates this treaty may the Gods (Pusputtee and Gujeswuree) punish them in this world and the next; and if they keep the treaty the Gods will advance their welfare here and hereafter.
“This treaty shall hold and have effect from generation to Generation.”
List of presents and letters [Accompanying the draft of the Treaty]
For Maharaja Khurrak Singh
1 pair of Kurrahs [bracelets] of diamonds
1 Pearl necklace of 66 pearls
For Koonwur Nou Nihal Singh
Do Do Do
For Maha Ranee Chund Koomaree
(From the Ranee)
1 pair Diamond Kurrah
1 dukdukee [jeweled scarf] of diamonds and pannahs
1 Pearl necklace of 49 pearls and 4 drops
For Raja Attar Singh [through whom draft was to be sent
to Mathbar Singh for action]
1 one-mouthed Roodrach
1 various mouthed Roodrach necklace
1 pr. Diamond Kurrah
For Mathbar Singh
2 Fowling pieces
(The whole valued at 40 to 50,000 Rupees).
1 to Khurug Singh and Nou Nihal Singh from the Raja
1 to Maharanee Chund Koomari from the Ranee [Senior Queen Samrajya Laxmi].
1 to Atter Singh.
1 to Bhaee Govind Ram.
1 to Raja Dhian Singh.
Also a letter from Runjung Pandei [Rana Jung Pande, Prime Minister] to Matbar Singh and another to Govind Ram.
sd.- W.H. Hodgson
Gurkha-Sikh-Tartar Chinese Alliance?
Hodgson’s spies also reported Nepal’s attempts to forge an alliance also with Tartars of China – making it a Gurkha-Sikh-Tartar alliance against the British. Even though the British military officers saw no signs of possible action in the immediate future, still started taking defensive measures in the Himachal.
Following is an extract from a lengthy report submitted by Political Agent, Colonel H.T. Tapp, to J.J. Metcalfe, Agent to the Lieutenant Governor, N.W.P. at Delhi, on September 22, 1840:
...That attempts have been and will continue to be made by the Nepal Government to induce the ruler of the Punjab to break his treaty with the British Government, I have not a doubt, and that under the present circumstances of our disagreement with China, Tartars would cordially give their assistance in furthering this object, is more than probable. At the same time the evident impolicy of such an act of treachery on the part of Sikh Government, the Punjab being open to immediate attack, one of their best generals with a considerable portion of troops in Mundee, at too great a distance to afford any assistance, are circumstances which led me to discredit the reports current about these hills, that the three powers above mentioned, are acting in concert.
Having given my best consideration to the whole subject, I have deemed it my duty to order up two companies of the Nusseeree Battalion under Lieutenant O Brien to Kothgoo [Kotgarh], from whence I shall direct him to throw forward small parties for the protection of the several Jhoolas across the Sutlej from Kapoo in Koth Goor to Wangtoo Jhoola in Bussahir, above which I am informed that there is no passage into Bussahir on this side of the river.
I have also sent directions to the Raja of Bussahir to occupy all the jhoolas above Wangtoo...
I shall proceed to Soobathoo and make arrangements for the march of the two companies and thence up to Simla...
[After the Nepal-Tibet-China War in 1792, a treaty was signed. Article 5 of the treaty provided: China will help Nepal defend against any external aggression.]
King Rajendra of Nepal, threatened by the British, blamed Prime-Minister Rana Jung Pande for these overtures, and replaced him by Ranga Nath Pandya.