Nepal’s parliament approves map that includes Indian territory, president assent next

Nepal’s upper house on Thursday unanimously cleared a constitutional amendment bill to reflect its new map in the national emblem, a move that is seen to virtually make the boundary row a permanent irritant in relations between Kathmandu and New Delhi. The bill garnered 57 votes in its support and none against.

Last week, Nepal’s lower house cleared the bill that was supported by all the 258 lawmakers present and voting.

Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura are the territories Nepal now claims as its own.

Reacting to the passage of the map in Nepal’s lower house, New Delhi said: “This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues.”

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli government, which had gone ahead to issue the new map last month, has repeatedly claimed that Nepal would “get back the land occupied by India” through dialogue.

The move is expected to aggravate a diplomatic row between Nepal and India, which erupted after Kathmandu protested against the opening of an 80-km road to Lipulekh on the Chinese border by New Delhi last month. Nepal claims Lipulekh but the Indian side has said the road is completely within its territory.

Nepal’s foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali told Parliament last week that the new road to Lipulekh had “undermined” the country’s sovereignty.Nepal’s border begins at Limpiyadhura, the origin of the river Kali, and the border with India is determined by the Treaty of Sugauli of 1816, he said. India, he added, had acknowledged in 1997 that the borders at Kalapani and Susta were “unresolved”.

The move in Parliament followed after several efforts by Kathmandu to hold talks with New Delhi on the border row. People familiar with developments said Nepal last formally contacted India early in May for talks to resolve the issue.

Source: Read Full Article