KATHMANDU, JUNE 26
Eighteen Standing Committee members of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) who spoke in today’s meeting raised the issue of regulating the porous Nepal-India border.
Ganesh Shah told the meeting that open border between Nepal and India should be regulated as the danger of porous border being misused by anti-social elements, including terrorists, was high. He also said that border and river disputes should be resolved through dialogue and diplomacy on the basis of scientific evidence and data. Sources said some members demanded that Nepal-India border be fenced.
Asta Laxmi Shakya told the meeting that the entire country supported the government’s move to depict Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in the map and the government should strive to keep the national unity intact.
She said the government should look into the allegation of border encroachment by both India and China and seek resolution of disputes through dialogue.
Shakya said some Standing Committee members spoke of the need to fence Nepal-India border and tighter control, including the requirement of passports for travel across the border.
She said the government needed to spur development in the border region and address the needs of residents.
Matrika Prasad Yadav said Madhesi people must be consulted before the government introduced any measures to regulate Nepal-India border, according to a Standing Committee member. Yadav also told party leaders to not use the refrain “ hamro purkhale arjeko desh” (our forefathers expanded the country) arguing that this added insult to injury as Madhesis had lost territory during Nepal’s expansion.
Yadav suggested that a neutral term should be used to give credit to forefathers for their effort to build the country.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the government had written to India seeking dialogue on boundary issues, but had not yet received any response.
Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Ghanashyam Bhusal refuted recent media reports that claimed China had encroached on Nepal’s land in seven districts along the northern border. Bhusal said media reports were false and the purported document of the ministry that pointed to encroachment of Nepali territories by China was fake.
The meeting will continue tomorrow. The ruling party has also listed citizenship issue on the agenda.
A version of this article appears in e-paper on June 27, 2020, of The Himalayan Times.