India hopes Nepal will create ‘positive atmosphere’ for dialogue on border issues
The external affairs ministry delivered a sharply worded response on Wednesday after Nepal’s land management minister Padma Kumari Aryal unveiled the new map that showed Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of Byas rural municipality in Sudurpaschim province.Updated: May 21, 2020 21:52 IST
India on Thursday called on Nepal’s leadership to create a “positive atmosphere for diplomatic dialogue” to address boundary issues, a day after the two sides sparred on a revised political map that depicted Lipulekh and Kalapani as part of Nepalese territory.
The external affairs ministry delivered a sharply worded response on Wednesday after Nepal’s land management minister Padma Kumari Aryal unveiled the new map that showed Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as part of Byas rural municipality in Sudurpaschim province.
Asked about the matter during an online news briefing on Thursday, external affairs ministry spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said: “All matters related to outstanding boundary issues will be dealt with between India and Nepal, and we hope the Nepalese leadership will create a positive atmosphere for diplomatic dialogue to resolve the outstanding boundary issues.”
India’s position on Nepal’s revised map is consistent, he said. He reiterated India’s contention that the revision of the map was “a unilateral act and not based on historical facts and evidences”. He also reiterated that “such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by us”.
Kathmandu’s move came little more than six months after New Delhi published new maps of the union territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh that showed Kalapani as part of Uttarakhand state.
Nepal’s council of ministers had approved the new map during a meeting chaired by Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday.
The diplomatic row began on May 8 after defence minister Rajnath Singh opened an 80-km road that ends at Lipulekh Pass on the border with China. The road was built so that pilgrims going to Kailash-Mansarovar in the Tibet Autonomous Region can avoid dangerous high-altitude routes through Sikkim and Nepal.
Nepal’s foreign ministry summoned the Indian envoy last week to protest against the construction of the road. New Delhi had rejected Kathmandu’s protest, saying Lipulekh is “completely within the territory of India”.