Nepal has politicised border issue, says India; dismisses Kathmandu's claims on Indian territory
India on Saturday (June 13) said that Nepali government has politicised the boundary issue in the backdrop of the lower house of Nepali parliament passing the Constitutional Amendment Bill. The new map issued by the Nepali government shows Indian territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura as its own.
Sources in the Indian government said that the actions by the Nepali govt "do not reflect any seriousness" on part of Kathmandu to resolve the issue through dialogue but are "myopic and self-serving to further a limited political agenda."
While reiterating that New Delhi has always stressed on the "resolution of the boundary issue through diplomatic dialogue" sources pointed India responded positively to the Nepalese side and conveyed its willingness to hold the talks in a "conducive environment and at a mutually convenient date" and reaffirmed commitment for the talk when "Nepal objected to the inauguration of Kailash Mansarovar road by government of India."
Highlighting the haste in the passage of the constitutional amendment that now goes to the upper house of the Nepali Parliament, government sources said Nepal has no historical facts or evidence to back its claim.
The MEA was quick to react on the developments in Nepali parliament saying, "This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues."
Referring to the 1815 treaty of Sugauli between the British Raj and the then Royal govt in Nepal that, sources said Nepal renounced all claims to territories lying west of the Kali river under Article V of the treaty. Treaty of Sugauli defined the current borders of Nepal and according to it Nepal's border with India in the east runs according to the flow of river Kali.
While in 1817, Nepal made claim to the area and demanded the return of Tinkar, Chhangru, Nabhi and Kuthi villages, the first 2 were returned since they were east of Kali river. As for Nabhi and Kuthi, the then Governor-General of India had rejected Nepal's claim on it.
Nepal has been claiming its right on Indian territories on the basis of Kuthi Yankti and Lipugadh streams which flow into river Kali. Indian sources said it is incompatible with the Treaty of Sugauli and the 1817 decision of Governor-General of India, elaborating that when it comes to the source of the Kali river, which is one of the causes of the current dispute was also settled during that judgement by the Governor-General.
Sources explained that current claims of the Nepali government is contrary to its own boundary treaty and protocols signed with China.
India, Nepal boundary issue was discussed at Joint Working Group level in 1997 and 1998 and in 2014, Foreign Secretaries for both the countries were mandated to work on the issues of Kalapani and Narsahi-Sustaand with technical inputs from Boundary Working Group as and when required.
The map row broke after India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a road till Lipulekh which Nepal claims is its own territory. It was followed by Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali meeting Indian envoy to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra and Nepali Foreign Ministery and ruling party Nepal Communist Party issued a strongly worded release protesting the new road built by India that will reduce the time for Indian pilgrims to go for Mansarovar Yatra in Tibet, China. It was followed by a strong protest by India who reminded Kathmandu that it is Indian territory.