Nepal has now officially launched its new political map showing Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura as parts of their territory amid the ongoing dispute with India. The announcement was made on Wednesday by Padma Kumari Aryal, a minister for land management in Nepal.
The official announcement was made by Padma Kumari Aryal, Minister for Land Management, Cooperative & Poverty Alleviation on Wednesday. The map was earlier endorsed by the Nepal cabinet on Tuesday.
This comes even as Nepal Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said that efforts were on to resolve the border issue with India through diplomatic initiatives.
India recently inaugurated a road connecting Lipulekh and the government has the road lies completely within Indian territory in the Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand.
The 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 Dharchula district.
“Decision of the Council of Ministers to publish the map of Nepal in 7 provinces, 77 districts and 753 local level administrative divisions including Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani,” Gyawali had written on Twitter on Monday.
Gyawali last week summoned the Indian Ambassador Vinay Mohan Kwatra and handed over a diplomatic note to him to protest against the construction of a key road connecting the Lipulekh pass with Dharchula in Uttarakhand.
India has said that the recently-inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand lies completely within its territory.
Nepal’s Finance minister and government spokesperson Yuvaraj Khatiwada on Monday said that the Cabinet headed by Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has approved the new political map of the country.
The new map includes 335-km land area including Limpiyadhura in the Nepalese territory.
The new map was drawn on the basis of the Sugauli Treaty of 1816 signed between Nepal and then the British India government and other relevant documents, which suggests Limpiyadhura, from where the Kali river originated, is Nepal’s border with India, The Kathmandu Post quoted an official at the Ministry of Land Reform and Management as saying.
President Bidhya Bhandari, addressing Parliament last week, reiterated that Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh belong to Nepal and appropriate diplomatic measures will be adopted to resolve the existing issues with India.
India and Nepal are at a row after the Indian side issued a new political map incorporating Kalapani and Lipulekh on its side of the border in October last year.
The tension further escalated after India inaugurated a road link connecting Kailash Mansarovar, a holy pilgrimage site situated at Tibet, China, that passes through the territory belonging to Nepal.
The 80-Km new road inaugurated by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh earlier this month is expected to help pilgrims visiting Kailash-Mansarovar in Tibet in China as it is around 90 kms from the Lipulekh pass.
“The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra,” spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Anurag Srivastava said in New Delhi recently.
(With PTI inputs)