Nepal Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli on Monday said that the ongoing border disputes with India will be resolved through diplomatic talks.
Although Nepal and India held ministerial level talks in New Delhi last month, the two sides sides could not hammer out the differences after the Himalayan nation unveiled a new map in May 2020.
He made the remarks at a seminar titled, ‘Nepal’s International Border Security and Areas of Coordination among Border Management related Agencies’, organised by the Nepal Army.
Oli, who is also the Defence Minister, argued that relations with neighbouring nations could be made cordial and emboldened only on the basis of facts, equality, respect and justice and not on hegemonic measures.
“In order to consolidate the Nepal-India ties in a cordial manner, we had to print the map and talk to India. Our relations could turn cordial by only returning our territory through dialogue. Border disputes are prevailing in Susta and Kanchanpur,” he said.
Nepal and India has had boundary rows since long in the Susta and Kalapani area and during the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Nepal in 2014, both sides had delegated to resolve the dispute at Foreign Secretaries levels but they could not meet.
In November 2019, New Delhi came up with a new political map incorporating Kalapani in its territory.
Nepal objected to the Indian move and offered talks at diplomatic level but India suggested face-to-face talks only once the Covid crisis was over.
But in May 2020 after India opened up a new 80 km link road in Uttarakhand via Lipu Lekh that Nepal claims its own, the Himalayan nation once again objected the move and offered talks.
After New Delhi failed to respond to the repeated calls, Nepal on May 20, 2020, unveiled the
new political map of the country incorporating the disputed territory.
India immediately rejected the decision calling it as a “cartographic assertion”.
Addressing Monday’s seminar, Oli further said that open and friendly dialogue would be held with India regarding the issue of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani based on facts and evidences.
“We must retain our territory. Both the nations should consider fact and truth in maintaining
relations. Are both the countries in position to claim other’s territory?” he queried.
“There have been some historically-unsolved border problems. The issue of Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani has remained unaddressed for the past 58 years. We were forced to get displaced silently when the then ruler did not dare to speak up against the intrusion.”
It is also true that our move has increased misunderstanding with India, Oli said, adding: “We need to assert claim on our territory at any cost.”
The border security agencies should be highly cautious when the border affairs become more sensitive, noted the Prime Minister.
“We have been admonished and warned while claiming our territory,” he said, adding that “there would be a dialogue in future to resolve the border disputes”.
He also directed the concerned authorities to pay special attention towards preventing the intrusion of Nepali territories and misusing the no-man’s land.
Border security is an integral part of national security, Oli said. “How can a nation remain secured when there is no border security? We have framed a working policy to implement security policy to that end.”