Friday, 5 June, 2020

Count On Facts

The Government of Nepal has intensified its efforts to collect all the historical evidences and facts related to Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura areas as it is in the process of mobilising both political and diplomatic channels to resolve the existing border disputes with India. The issue came out a couple of weeks ago when India released its new political map after its administrative division of Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. To Nepal’s great dismay, the southern neighbour has included Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura areas in its new map. Since those areas belong to Nepal, the government has taken great exception to the Indian move. Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has called on the Government of India to remove its forces from those areas immediately.

Prime Minister Oli also held an all-party meeting, which was attended by top political leaders representing different political parties, including the main opposition Nepali Congress. They stood in support of the government’s stance on the issue. They also suggested that the government take an initiative to hold dialogue with the Indian side in order to settle the dispute at the earliest possible. The Sugauli Treaty, which was signed on December 2, 1815, between Nepal and the then East India Company, includes evidences that support Nepal’s claim of Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura. The treaty mentions that the land lying to the east of the Kali River, that is, the Mahakali River, belongs to Nepal. The river originates from Limpiyadhura.

Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Prasad Baskota, while addressing a weekly press conference at his office on Thursday, said that all the border disputes with India would be settled through dialogue. Minister Baskota, who is also the government spokesperson, said that the talks with India would be held after the collection of all the historical documents and bilateral agreements. According to him, efforts are underway to mobilise diplomatic and political channels to deal with the issue. He said Nepal wanted to resolve the border problem related to Susta in the Terai as well through holding talks with India at various levels. The Government of Nepal has already formed a 10-member committee to study all the border-related issues. The committee will submit its report to the government in three months.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs some days ago sent a letter to the Government of India requesting the latter for holding high-level talks to settle the border dispute regarding Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura. In its letter, the ministry claimed those areas as Nepal’s territories. The ministry also handed a diplomatic note to the Indian Ambassador to Nepal. Earlier, Nepali Embassy based in New Delhi also drew an urgent attention of the External Affairs Ministry of India towards the border problem. The Government of Nepal is set to hold high-level talks with India. It is eagerly waiting for the southern neighbour’s response. As friendly neighbours with multidimensional relations, Nepal and India should settle the border dispute through talks. It’s prudent for them to respect each other’s sovereignty. 

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