‘Nepal’s move myopic and serves Oli’s limited agenda’

NEW DELHI: Nepal’s passage of a constitutional amendment to change its map to include Indian territories Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, is a blatant attempt to use artificial map making to serve narrow political agendas of Prime Minister K P Oli, say senior government sources here.

Nepal renounced all claims to territories lying west of the Kali river under Treaty of Sugauli (Article V) of 1815. “These actions do not reflect any seriousness on part of the Nepalese government to discuss and resolve the issue through dialogue. They are myopic and self-serving to further a limited political agenda,” sources here said.

In 1817, Nepal made a claim to the area and demanded return of villages of Tinkar, Chhangru, Nabhi and Kuthi. Lying east of Kali, first two were returned to Nepal. But the Governor General of India rejected its claim to Nabhi and Kuthi as they lay west of Kali.
The question of source of Kali river was also settled by the same ruling.

Nepal’s current claims are also incompatible with its own boundary treaty with China, where the current territorial sovereignty is maintained. In fact, India has repeatedly accused Nepal of encroaching on Indian territory in Narsahi and Susta areas in Bihar “by settling its own population and through various construction activities”.

In fact, on Wednesday, three weeks after declaring a new political and administrative map, the Nepal government formed a nine-member team of experts to collect historical facts and evidence related to Nepal’s ownership of Kalapani and Susta areas. This shows, according to Indian sources, that even Nepalese consider this new claim to be dodgy, drawn up too hastily, and for narrow political objectives.

India says it has discussed the outstanding boundary issues with Nepal at the joint working group in 1997 and 1998. “In 2014, both sides mandated the two foreign secretaries to work on the issues of Kalapani and Narsahi-Susta and with technical inputs from Boundary Working Group as and when required.”

Indian officials said New Delhi agreed to talks on Kalapani after Nepal objected to the inauguration of the Kailash Manasarovar road by India on May 8.

Source: Times of India


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