Kalapani issue would be resolved through diplomatic initiatives: Nepal FM

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Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said on Sunday that efforts are on to resolve the border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives, a day after Nepal raised objection over a crucial link road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

The crucial road at a height of 17,000 feet along the border with China in Uttarakhand was thrown open by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday. (Photo:ANI)

Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said on Sunday that efforts are on to resolve the border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives, a day after Nepal raised objection over a crucial link road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

Gyawali made the remarks in the Parliament after the ruling Nepal Communist Party lawmakers tabled a special resolution in the House demanding return of Nepal’s territory in Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh.

In the resolution, the lawmakers asked the Nepal government to take necessary steps to get back around 400 sq km land east of Mahakali river, a border river, which they claimed was being encroached.

Gyawali claimed that the territories belonged to Nepal as it was mentioned in the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 and three supplementary documents subsequently exchanged between the Nepal government and then British India government, and no other agreement was signed to change the status.

He assured the Parliament that the issue would be resolved through diplomatic initiatives and efforts are on towards that direction.

Speaking on the occasion, lawmakers advised the government to hold consultation with the Chinese side too, as the matter was trilateral issue.

They also advised the government to start highest level dialogue between Nepal and India to resolve the matter.

Gyawali said that Nepal has raised objection to the construction of the strategic link road by the Indian government connecting Darchula in Uttarkhanda with the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China via the Lipulekh Pass.

On Saturday, Nepal’s Foreign Affairs Ministry in a statement said the government “has learnt with regret” about the inauguration of the link road connecting to Lipulekh pass, which Nepal claims to be part of its territory.

The 80-km-long strategically crucial road at a height of 17,000 feet along the border with China in Uttarakhand was thrown open by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh last week.

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 Darchula district.

Read | Rajnath Singh inaugurates strategic road to Kailash-Mansarover via video conference

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About the author: Sohom Das
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