Posted on May 21, 2020, 1:23 PM IST
The worsening of dialogue between India and Nepal has deepened with the latest geographic development. Nepal has officially issued a new map that shows Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura under its territory. The corrected map was released by the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives & Poverty Alleviation.
The shocking development comes a day after Nepalese Prime Minister KP Oli declared in the Parliament that the Kalapani area belonged 'indisputably' to Nepal and his government will wrest control of it. He had mentioned the release of the disputed map and he went on to say that people of Nepal will celebrate it. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an integral part of their territory.
Earlier this month, Nepal’s President Bidhya Devi, while addressing the joint session of the Parliament, had said new maps of the country will be published that will show all areas it considers its own.
"Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani region are Nepal's territory and concrete diplomatic efforts will be taken towards reclaiming these territories. An official map of Nepal will be published accordingly incorporating all the territories of Nepal," Bhandari has said.
Kathmandu raised the chorus over the issue after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a new road from Dharchula to Lipulekh that will reduce the time taken for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage. After this development, Indian envoy to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra was called by Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali and its concern was raised over the matter.
India has clarified to Nepal on Lipulekh that the "recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the State of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India."
New Delhi sees an increased Chinese role in Nepal as a reason for current comments by Kathmandu. Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had on Friday hinted at foreign involvement with Nepal raking up the Lipulekh issue. Army Chief, speaking at a think tank IDSA's online meet, said, "I do not know exactly what they are exactly agitating about. Never been a problem in the past, reasons to believe they might have raised these problems, issues at the behest of someone else and there is very much a possibility."
While names have not been taken, China’s increased involvement in the country is something that is well known. The ongoing dispute is not new and dates back to 1816 when under the Treaty of Sugauli, King of Nepal lost parts of its territory to British including Kalapani and Lipulekh.