Nepal issues new map to incorporate disputed territory between India-Nepal

Prashasti Awasthi Mumbai | Updated on May 20, 2020

Nepal has issued a new political map that shows the disputed area between Indian and Nepal -- Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura -- under Nepal’s territory, as per media reports.

This comes weeks after Nepal’s Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali proposed diplomatic initiatives with India to resolve the border issue.

Nepal's ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers have also tabled a special resolution in Parliament demanding the "return of Nepal's territory in Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulekh."

The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, an alleged "disputed" border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory. India claims it a part of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district, while Nepal sees the part as Dharchula district.

Mr Gyawali also informed that the "official map" of Nepal will soon be made public by the Ministry of Land Management.

"Decision of the Council of Ministers to publish the map of Nepal in 7 provinces, 77 districts, and 753 local level administrative divisions including Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani," he wrote on Twitter on Monday.

Last week, Gyawali handed over a diplomatic note to Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra stating his disapproval over the key road construction in the disputed territory that connects Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

Nepal's Finance minister and government spokesperson Yuvaraj Khatiwada on Monday said that the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has approved the "new political map" of the country.

The Nepalese government maintained that it will soon "publicize the new political map that incorporates the territories unilaterally kept by India on its side of the border."

Nepal's Minister for Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Yogesh Bhattarai said that the Cabinet's decision would be "written in golden letters."

However, the senior ruling party leader and member of Nepal Communist Party Standing Committee Ganesh Shah was not in favor of the move. He believes that this will be a blow to the diplomatic relation between Indian and Nepal.

"The Nepal government should soon start a dialogue with India to resolve the matter through political and diplomatic moves," he said.

The "new map" includes India's 335-km land area including Limpiyadhura in Nepalese territory.

According to Press Trust of India, the "new map" has reportedly been drawn on the basis of the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 signed between Nepal and then British India. This also includes other relevant documents, which claim "Limpiyadhura, from where the Kali river originated, is Nepal's border with India," The Kathmandu Post quoted an official at Nepal's Ministry of Land Reform and Management as claiming.

Nepal's President Bidhya Bhandari, addressing Parliament last week, claimed that "Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipulekh belong to Nepal" and appropriate diplomatic measures will be adopted to resolve the existing issues with India.

Published on May 20, 2020

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