THE construction of a strategic road in the Nepali territory of the Kalapani area by India has sent shockwaves not only in the ruling party and the government, but also among the other political parties and their leaders. Besides the ruling party leaders, leaders of political parties representing in the parliament have said that the Indian side has consistently been neglecting the small neighbour's concerns regarding its territorial integrity in Lipulek, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani areas. India's latest act, of constructing the road, has indeed brought all parties together in castigating the southern neighbour. The main opposition party, the Nepali Congress, has of late not only denounced the Indian act but also asked the government to undertake diplomatic and political measures to reclaim the land encroached by India. In an all-party meeting held the other day, the leaders of the parties represented in the parliament, former prime ministers, Constituent Assembly Chair and ministers expressed their support and solidarity to the government in resolving the border crisis at the earliest.
While laying emphasis on the diplomatic and political dialogues with India and resolving the crisis, the leaders taking part in the meeting suggested the government take Nepali people into confidence because the issues pertaining to the territorial integrity could only be resolved through their support and solidarity. The statement of the leader of the Nepali Congress, the main opposition party, Sher Bahadur Deuba carried more weight as he explicitly told the meeting that the areas of Lipulek, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani which lie east of the Mahakali River is Nepali territory as the historic Sugauli Treaty of 1816 has mentioned it. His party, he said, had opposed the 2015 agreement between the Indian and China on opening a trade route via Lipulek and the political map which India made public in November 2019. The leader of main opposition suggested the government initiate result-oriented diplomatic and political initiatives to resolve the border issue instead of wasting time in issuing statements.
The southern neighbour has not been forthcoming in holding dialogues with Nepal on the latest crisis which Nepal regards a very serious matter. Nepal has already handed over a diplomatic note to India expressing its resentment over the construction of the road in its territory but the Indian side appears to be less concerned about resolving the problem. On the other hand the Nepal government is seriously engaged in resolving the crisis, which is evident from the fact that the government held an all-party meeting and garnered significant support from the parties, mainly the main opposition. The support and solidarity of the parties as well as citizens will really go miles in pressurising India to not only listen and respect Nepal's overriding concerns on border issue that need to be resolved sooner than later. The government as well as the PM Oli has carried out a highly praiseworthy task by holding the all-party meeting and sought the support from the political parties and senior leaders. For, unity and cooperation from all is what the country requires at a time when it is really passing through a difficult time.