All-party meet dwells on border dispute


Kathmandu, May 13

Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli today held an all-party meeting to discuss the dispute over Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani with India. The meeting took place in the wake of India inaugurating a link road from Pithoragarh to Kailash Mansarovar via Lipulekh pass.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs had issued a press release stating that Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani belonged to Nepal. India, however, claims that its security forces have been in the areas for many years.

Former prime minister and Nepali Congress President Sher Bahadur Deuba told the PM that Sugauli Treaty signed in 1816 that determined the Mahakali River as the western border between Nepal and India was the main basis for resolving the border dispute with India.

According to a press release issued by the NC today, Deuba also told the PM that Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani belonged to Nepal and Indian security forces should vacate Nepali territory.

Deuba said the government should hold talks with both India and China
as they had signed an agreement in 2015 regarding Lipulekh. Deuba also urged the government to expedite the ratification of Millennium Challenge Corporation compact agreement signed with the USA.

Former prime minister and Janata Samajwadi Party-Nepal leader Baburam Bhattarai told the prime minister that it would be appropriate if the PM formulated a common view on nationalism by taking all communities into confidence rather than playing the nationalism card. According to a press release issued by Bhattarai’s secretariat, Bhattarai said there was evidence, including Sugauli Treaty, regarding Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura, but the government had not collected relevant facts and evidences.

Stating that there was no alternative to diplomatic solution to Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh dispute, Bhattarai added that the PM should talk to the Indian prime minister to resolve the border dispute, besides activating bilateral mechanisms to resolve the border row with India. Bhattarai said Nepal, China and India should jointly resolve the issue of trilateral junction. He said maximum efforts should be made to resolve the issue bilaterally, but the UN platforms and International Court should be used if bilateral efforts failed to resolve the dispute.

Bhattarai said the government should collect all the evidences to prove the country’s claim in the international court, but first it should exhaust diplomatic means to resolve the border row with India. Bhattarai said if India and China proceeded to enhance trade and commerce between them, then that would cause economic disadvantage for Nepal and therefore Nepal should take the issue seriously.

A version of this article appears in e-paper on May 14, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.

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