March 24, 2023

India’s position on border unambiguous, government tells Nepal | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: India’s position on the India-Nepal boundary is well known, consistent and unambiguous and has been communicated to Nepal, the government said on Saturday reacting to a series of statements by political parties in Kathmandu slamming India for allegedly undermining Nepal’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The response by the Indian embassy in Nepal followed a statement by the main ruling party, Nepali Congress, calling India’s widening of the road to the Lipulekh pass, near the tri-junction with China, objectionable and demanding that India withdraw its troops from the area. It had also said that Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani – areas that remain under India’s administrative control in Uttarakhand – are Nepalese territory.
The embassy also reminded Nepal authorities of India’s view that the established inter-governmental mechanisms and channels were “most appropriate” for communication and dialogue.
“Mutually agreed boundary issues that are outstanding can always be addressed in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations,” said the embassy.
The latest flare-up on the boundary issue is said to have been caused by PM Narendra Modi’s remark in Haldwani last month that India was working to further expand the same road.
According to Indian authorities, India has repeatedly conveyed to Nepal, since the latter issued a new political map to justify “artificial enlargement” of its claims, that it should refrain from making any unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. While India says it’s ready for dialogue on the issue, the government also maintains the onus to create conditions conducive for dialogue is on Kathmandu.
India’s reiteration of its position was probably provoked by the fact that the main ruling party also joined others on Friday in expressing outrage over PM Modi’s remark. According to reports from Kathmandu, PM Sher Bahadur Deuba is under pressure from leaders of his own coalition government to raise the issue diplomatically with India.
Nepal had objected to an announcement by India and China in 2015 to develop a trade corridor via the Lipulekh pass and then again to India’s own new political map that was issued in 2019 after the reorganisation of what was the Jammu and Kashmir state.
Nepal has also cited a 1997 India-Nepal joint statement to claim that the boundary issue had been on the bilateral agenda for over 2 decades. It claims that, as per the 1816 Sugauli Treaty, all territories east of Kali (Mahakali) River, including Limpiyadhura (where the Kali river originates), Kalapani and Lipulekh, belong to Nepal. India says though that the road is on the west side of the river.

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