9 May 2020 I Kathmandu has once again called on India to “to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal”.
Nepal’s latest discontent comes after its southern neighbour opened a border road running right into Lipu Lekh, an area that it claims is part of its sovereign territory.
India’s Border Road Organisation (BRO) completed the 80 km stretch connecting Ghatiabgarh and Lipu Lekh, some 750 kilometres from New Delhi.
Nepal maintains that all territories east of Kali (Mahakali) River fall within its border. Nepal’s claim is based on the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 which it maintains effectively puts Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh within its territory.
According to Nepal’s foreign ministry, these facts have been repeatedly reiterated during border talks between the two nations and also “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”.
दुसराेका माल चाेरी करके उसपर परत चढा देनेसे अपना नहिँ हाे जाता। Lipulekh belongs to Nepal.
— #जदाै #आदावअर्ज अराष्ट्रिय तत्त्व® (@shekharnaughty) May 8, 2020
Kathmandu’s displeasure comes a day after Indian defence minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated the strategic road connecting Uttarakhand’s Dharchula to Lipu Lekh with a view to easing the arduous journey of Indian pilgrims to Kailash Mansarovar which lies beyond the disputed territory in Tibet.
The road had been in planning for a long time with New Delhi first approving the construction in 2005 for a budget of INR 80.76 crore. However, in 2018 the budget was revised to INR 439.40 crore.
“This 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. The Government of Nepal remains committed to seek diplomatic solution to boundary issues on the basis of the historical treaty, documents, facts and maps in keeping with the spirit of close and friendly ties between the two countries,” Nepal’s foreign ministry said today.
y found deceased at home on May 7, was a management student at a Sydney college. She was living in Rockdale, a popular suburb among Nepalese international students, with her husband, southasia.com.au understands.
In 2015, not long after the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake left Nepal in absolute ruins, the Nepalese government had expressed similar disagreement after India and China included Lipu Lekh Pass as a bilateral trade route.
Lipu Lekh Pass was Nepal’s land and yet its consent was not taken while including the area in the India-China trade route, the mountain nation protested at the time. Nepal had addressed diplomatic notes to both the giant neighbours after Lipu Lekh Pass was mentioned in the Joint Statement issued on 15 May 2015 during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China.
“The Government of Nepal reemphasizes that pending boundary issues between the two countries should be resolved through diplomatic means. With this in mind, the Government of Nepal has proposed twice the dates for holding the meeting of the Foreign Secretaries of the two countries, as mandated by their leaders, for which the response from the Indian side is still awaited,” the press statement from Nepal’s foreign ministry further added.