With Indo-Nepal animosities rising over Kalapani territory dispute, Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli asserted that Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura belong to Nepal, and vowed to "reclaim" them from India through political and diplomatic efforts; his cabinet endorsed a new political map showing the three areas as Nepalese territory.
Addressing Parliament, Oli said the territories belong to Nepal but India has made it a disputed area by keeping its Army there. "Nepalis were blocked from going there after India stationed its Army," he said. "India has deployed its troops in Kalapani since 1962 and our rulers in the past hesitated to raise the issue. We will reclaim and get them back."
Oli also expressed the hope that India will follow the path of truth, shown by Satya Meva Jayate, which is mentioned in the Ashoka Chakra, the national symbol of India.
What is the Kalapani boundary dispute?
The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani, a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory—India as part of Uttarakhand's Pithoragarh district and Nepal as part of Dharchula district. The Nepalese claims against the Indian maps were that, according to the Sugauli treaty between Nepal and British India in 1815, Mahakali River that runs through the Kalapani area was the boundary between the two countries. The region lies close to a geographically significant tri-junction with China (Tibet), and Indo-Tibetan border police has marked its presence in the region.
An 80km long strategically crucial road at a height of 17,000 KM in the region bordering China was thrown open by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier this month. Nepal raised objection to the inauguration of the road, saying the "unilateral act" was against the understanding reached between the two countries on resolving the border issues.
In its new map, Nepal showed 335-km land area including Limpiyadhura in the Nepalese territory. The new map was drawn on the basis of the Sugauli Treaty, which suggests Limpiyadhura, from where the Kali river originated, is Nepal's border with India.
China on Tuesday said the Kalapani border issue is between India and Nepal as it hoped that the two neighbours could refrain from "unilateral actions" and properly resolve their disputes through friendly consultations.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian made the remarks at a media briefing here while replying to questions on India-Nepal differences over the border and Indian Army chief Gen. M.M. Naravane's remarks that Kathmandu was objecting to the newly built road by India at the behest of "someone else", an apparent reference to a possible role by China on the matter.
Gen Naravane said on Friday that there were reasons to believe that Nepal objected to India's newly-inaugurated road linking Lipulekh Pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand at the behest of "someone else". He said there was no dispute whatsoever between India and Nepal in the area and road laid was very much within the Indian side.
"Kalapani is an issue between Nepal and India, and we hope the two countries properly solve their disputes through friendly consultations, Zhao said. Zhao also said Nepal and India also should "refrain from unilateral actions that might complicate the situation.