Kathmandu, May 10: Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali on Sunday said that the Indian government has been continuously ignoring Nepal’s call for holding talks to resolve border issues.
Speaking at the meeting of the House of Representatives, the foreign minister said that the talks with the southern neighbor on border issues could not happen due to India’s continued indifference. According to him, Nepal had also proposed dates for holding talks with India over border issues.
“The Nepal government was aware of the construction of the road by the Indian side in Nepali territory, Lipulekh,” Gyawali said, informing the parliament that the Indian side had decided to build the road in 2005 and officially started its construction later in 2008. “The Indian government accelerated the construction of the road in 2014,” he said.
He mentioned that the Nepal government had sent a diplomatic note to the Indian government after India unveiled a new political map incorporating Nepali territory Kalapani within Indian borders on November 2, 2019.
“The Nepal government strongly opposed the Indian political map and proposed dates for holding talks on the same. However, the Indian side did not respond to us and maintained indifference toward the proposal,” Gyawali said.
He also said that on Saturday Nepal strongly objected to the construction of a strategic link road by the Indian government connecting Dharchula of the Indian State of Uttarakhand with the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China via the Lipulekh Pass, a Nepali territory.
Gyawali said that the Nepal government has learnt with regret about the ‘inauguration’ on Friday by India of a ‘Link Road’ connecting to Lipulekh (Nepal).
“We have called upon the Government of India to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal,” Gyawali said.
Sharing with the parliamentarians Nepal’s consistent position, the minister said that as per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), all the territories east of Kali (Mahakali) River, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh, belong to Nepal.
“This was reiterated by the Government of Nepal several times in the past and most recently through a diplomatic note addressed to the Government of India dated 20 November 2019 in response to the new political map issued by the latter,” he said.
Gaywali said that India’s unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries including at the level of Prime Ministers that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation.
“We have seen the statement released by India’s Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday, in which they have also talked about seeking the solution diplomatically. The Government of Nepal remains committed to seeking diplomatic solutions to boundary issues on the basis of the historical treaties, documents, facts and maps in keeping with the spirit of close and friendly ties between the two countries,” he added.
Foreign Minister Gaywali reiterated that the Government of Nepal had expressed its disagreement in 2015 through separate diplomatic notes addressed to the governments of both India and China when the two sides agreed to include the Lipulekh Pass as a bilateral trade route without Nepal’s consent in the Joint Statement issued on 15 May 2015 during the official visit of the Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi to China.