Kathmandu: At a time when the government as well the Nepali Congress leaders have been facing scathing criticisms for remaining silent over recent remarks by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Lipulekh road, Vice President of Nepali Congress Dhan Raj Gurung has said that the government should not stay silent about it.
“I would like to urge the government to send a diplomatic note to India as early as possible,” he said. “There should be no delay in action when it comes to the issue of national sovereignty.” He further said that the government should hold dialogues with India over the issues related to Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani. According to Gurung, Nepal needs to talk to Indian PM directly and resolve the matter in such a way that Indian PM and other rulers would not question the sovereignty of Nepal over those territories.
“We should not just watch and stay silent over this matter,” Gurung told Nepal Live Today.
Youth leaders of Congress like Dhan Raj Gurung, Gagan Thapa and Bishwa Prakash Sharma have been heavily criticized on social media for not speaking up against the Indian PM Modi’s remarks on Lipulekh.
On December 30, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing an election rally in Uttarakhand, had said that India constructed a road up to Lipulekh and work for further expansion of the road from that point was underway.
Modi’s remarks have been criticized in Nepal in the public sphere including by the main opposition CPN(UML). On January 11, UML issued a statement drawing the attention of the government toward the illegal construction of infrastructures in Lipulekh by India.
Experts have also said that Nepal should not stay silent over the announcement by the Indian PM that India is constructing a road via the Nepali territory of Lipulekh. Talking to Nepal Live Today, Khadga KC, professor of International Relations at Tribhuvan University, said that “the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must immediately issue a statement reiterating Nepal’s position on the Kalapani area.”
Dinesh Bhattarai, former diplomat and foreign policy expert, has also demanded that Nepal needs to express its concern about the matter. “Lipulekh is a territory of Nepal. When announcements are made that a road is being built through our territory, Nepal should not be seen unconcerned,” said Bhattarai.
Leaders like Gurung, Thapa and Sharma were the fierce critics of the Indian move of publishing the new map of India by incorporating Nepali territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in it in November 2019. They had also strongly protested when Indian Defense Minister Raj Nath Singh inaugurated the road to Lipulekh in May 2020.