Nepal PM holds all-party meeting to discuss border dispute with India, urges unity
A Constitutional amendment was to be tabled in the Nepal Parliament on Tuesday, but was deferred due to the meeting called by KP Sharma Oli.
Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Wednesday held an all-party meeting at his official residence in Kathmandu to discuss the boundary dispute with India, among other things, The Himalayan Times reported. Nepal claims the territories of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani for itself.
Oli’s Press Advisor Surya Thapa said the prime minister, at the meeting, stressed the need for all parties to move forward with unconditional agreement on the geographical integrity of the country. “Dialogue and diplomacy are the only solutions to solve the present issues pertaining to the boundary disputes,” Thapa said, quoting Oli.
Thapa also said that Oli told the leaders of various political parties that a quick decision had to be made on correcting the image of Nepal’s map on the coat-of-arms, after a Constitutional amendment is made to include the contested areas of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani into the country’s map.
The Constitutional amendment was to be tabled in the Nepal Parliament on Tuesday, but was deferred after Oli said that he wanted to hold a meeting of all political parties to discuss the matter, PTI reported. The government had registered the amendment proposal in Parliament on May 22 after releasing the new political map of Nepal depicting Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limipiyadhura as its territories on May 18.
India had told Nepal on May 20 not to resort to any “artificial enlargement” of its territorial claims. India’s Ministry of External Affairs told the Nepalese government that the modified map includes territories that fall within India.
The conflict between India and Nepal began earlier in May when India’s Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a new route for the Kailash Mansarovar yatra via the Lipulekh pass. Nepal has repeatedly claimed that India’s decision to build the road was a breach of an agreement between the two countries.
On May 15, in an oblique reference to China, Indian Army chief MM Naravane said that Nepal may have opposed India’s efforts to build a road from Uttarakhand to the Lipulekh pass in the Himalayas, “at the behest of someone else”. Kathmandu angrily rejected the statement, claiming it had hurt the sentiments of Nepali Gorkhas who have a long tradition of sacrifice for India.
In his parliamentary address, Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli had also said the disputed Kalapani-Limpiyadhura-Lipulekh area belonged to Nepal’s territory and the country would “reclaim” it. Last week, Oli blamed people entering illegally from India for spreading the coronavirus in his country. Oli added that coronavirus infection from India had become “more lethal than Chinese and Italian”. “The Indian virus looks more lethal than Chinese and Italian now,” he was quoted as saying. “More people are getting infected now.”