Kathmandu, November 11
The Parliamentary State Affairs and Good Governance Committee today directed the government to correct erroneous maps of Nepal doing the rounds and publish a new one encompassing Kalapani, Lipulekh and Lipubhanjyang, collectively the Kalapani region, on the eastern side of the Mahakali River originating from Limpiyadhura. The panel’s decision was read by its chair Shashi Shrestha.
The House panel’s directive comes after an Indian political map published on November 2 depicted the Kalapani region as Indian territory. Following the publication of the map, the government has already made its position clear that it will not accept any such unilateral decision on outstanding border-related issues. An all-party meeting on Saturday also concluded that the Kalapani region was Nepali territory and any such border-related issue should be resolved through dialogue and mutual understanding.
Lauding the government for its strong position on the issue, the state affairs committee also directed the government to immediately take diplomatic measures to hold dialogue with India to resolve the issue on the basis of historic documents and proofs.
The panel also directed the government to set up permanent barracks of border security force in Kalapani and other border areas for effective border security.
In the meeting, Nepal Communist Party Chairperson Pushpa Kamal Dahal said there was no need to internationalise the issue as that could be resolved through dialogue and diplomatic channels. “Sensationalising the issue will only worsen the situation,” he said. “As per the historic facts and proofs, the Kalapani region on the eastern side of the Mahakali River originating from Limpiyadhura is Nepali territory. We need to hold dialogue with India stressing the same.”
Dahal also urged all not to believe rumour that erstwhile kings handed over the region to India through an agreement. He said it was an opportune time to hold dialogue with India and resolve the issue once and for all.
Minister of Home Affairs Ram Bahadur Thapa said his ministry planned to boost the presence of security forces in Darchula.
Meanwhile, lawmakers in the Parliamentary International Relations Committee suggested that the government should first make robust preparations, including collecting historic documents and proofs, before holding dialogue with the Indian side. They also suggested that the talks team should comprise officials who would not compromise the nation’s territorial integrity, citing past instances where Nepali officials gave in to Indian pressure. The lawmakers said secretary-level joint committee might not be able to solve such a complicated issue, so efforts should be made at higher level.
Minister of Foreign Affairs Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said the government had already launched diplomatic efforts with the Nepali embassy in New Delhi holding talks with India’s Ministry of External Affairs. He said the government was open to the option of holding dialogue at the prime ministerial-level with India on the issue.
A version of this article appears in print on November 12, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.