By Shirish B Pradhan
Kathmandu, Jun 29 (PTI) The border issue between India and Nepal should not impact other dynamics of their bilateral ties, Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said on Monday as he hoped that the dispute would be resolved through diplomatic efforts.
Nepal this month completed the process of redrawing the country's political map through a Constitutional amendment, incorporating three strategically important Indian areas.
India has termed as "untenable" the "artificial enlargement" of the territorial claims by Nepal after its Parliament unanimously approved the new political map of the country featuring Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas which India maintains belong to it.
''We are confident that the dispute would be resolved through diplomatic efforts. No move capable of causing implication on Nepal-India multi-dimensional relations will be taken. The border issue should not undermine the overall status of Nepal’s ties with India,” Gyawali told a meeting at the National Assembly.
He said the government was in constant touch with India to resolve the disputes.
"We are in touch with India,” Gyawali was quoted as saying by the Kathmandu Post.
"We are committed to resolving this issue through talks and I am hopeful that we will be able to resolve it," he added. "We will resolve the dispute but not by means of provocations and emotions."
The India-Nepal bilateral ties came under strain after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a 80-km-long strategically crucial road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand on May 8.
Nepal reacted sharply to the inauguration of the road claiming that it passed through Nepalese territory. India rejected the claim asserting that the road lies completely within its territory.
Responding to questions, Gyawali also said that there was no border dispute between Nepal and China, days after Kathmandu refuted media reports regarding "encroachment” of the country's territory by its northern neighbour.
He said that some media disseminated 'fake news' mentioning China's encroachment on Nepal's territory citing a fictitious report published by the Agricultural Ministry.
"Nepal and China have no border disputes,” Gyawali said.
''Misinformation will mislead us, so let's not entertain such stuffs,'' he said and asked the media to be careful while covering sensitive issues and not to give space to stuffs that could jeopardize the cordial bilateral relations.
"Both countries have signed a peace and friendship border treaty and both parties are agreed to inspect the bilateral border points in every ten years," he said.
"During the third border inspection, it was decided to place border pillars for the clarity of border demarcation. Preparations are on to resolve the issue on tri-juncture towards the west," he added.
In response to a question, Gyawali said that China did not encroach Nepal's villages.
He said the people of Sana and Rui villages that lied in Gorkha district were asked to chose where to stay along the border before Nepal-China border was officially demarcated.
During the time of Nepal-China border demarcation, there were two villages along the border with 110 households. Sixty per cent villagers chose to live in Rui village towards China and 40 per cent chose to live in Sana village in the Nepalese side, the minister said. PTI SBP ZH