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Nepal’s new map incorporates Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, Kalapani

Nepal’s PM, K.P. Sharma Oli emphasized the country’s claim to Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura after the Nepal government presented the disputed territories in a newly issued political map.

May 20, 2020 13:21 IST
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A new political map showing Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura under Nepal’s territory has been endorsed by Nepal’s Cabinet. The endorsement of the new map took place amid Nepal’s border dispute with India.

Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali announced the move weeks after he stated that the efforts to resolve the border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives have been going on.

Nepal’s PM, KP Sharma Oli emphasized the country’s claim to Lipulekh, Kalapani, and Limpiyadhura after the government presented the disputed territories in a newly issued political map.

Details of the new map:

The new map approved by Nepal includes a 335 km land area that includes Limpiyadhura in the Nepalese territory. It has been drawn on the basis of the Sagauli treaty of 1816 that was signed between Nepal and the then British India government and other relevant documents that also suggest that Limpiyadhura, from where the Kali rover originated is Nepal’s border with India.

Nepal put disputed territories in a new map:

The Foreign Minister of Nepal, Pradeep Kumar Gyawali, stated that the new official map of Nepal will soon be made public by the Ministry of Land Management. He further added that the council of ministers has decided to publish the map of Nepal in 77 districts, 7 provinces, and 753 local level administrative divisions that include Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura, and Kalapani.

Gyawali had also summoned the Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatara. Gyawali handed him a diplomatic note in order to protest against the construction of the key road that connects the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.

Yuvraj Khatiwada, Nepal’s Finance Minister and government’s spokesperson had earlier informed that the cabinet headed by PM K.P. Sharma Oli had approved the new political map of Nepal. The map was presented by the Minister for Land Management at a cabinet meeting at an official residence of PM Oli on May 18, 2020.

The lawmakers of Nepal Communist Party, the ruling party of Nepal has also tabled a special resolution in parliament that demands the return of Nepal’s territory in Kalapani, Lipulekh, and Limpiyadhura.

India’s statement at the dispute:

As the formal statement by the Ministry of External Affairs is still awaited, the official sources have stated that India’s own political map depicts its sovereign territories accurately and there has been no revision of boundaries with Nepal.

Nepal had protested after India had inaugurated a new road connecting the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand with the Kailash Mansarovar route in China. But India’s MEA maintained that the road going through the Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district lies completely within the Indian territory.

India and Nepal have been at a dispute after India issued a new political map that incorporated Kalapani and Lipulekh on its side of the border in October 2019.

Background:

The Lipulekh pass is a far western point near Kalapani which is a disputed border area between Nepal and India. Both India and Nepal claim Kalapani as an essential part of their territory. India claims it as part of Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh District and Nepal claims it as part of Dharchula District.

As per Nepal, the disputed areas have been located on the eastern side of the Kali river which as per the 1816 Sugauli treaty is Nepal’s western boundary with India with its source, as claimed by Nepal, at Limpyadhura. While India disputes this stating that the source of the river is much to the south where Nepal claims it exists and that the road to the Lipulekh pass has been located to the west of the river which is India’s territory.

Kathmandu has also claimed that the highly strategic areas of Kalapani and Limpiyadhura, even though Indian troops have been deployed over there ever since India fought a war with China in 1962. 

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