Kathmandu: In a statement, Nepal’s ruling party Nepali Congress has asked India to immediately stop road construction in the Lipulekh area.
The statement signed jointly by general secretary duo Gagan Kumar Thapa and Bishwa Prakash Sharma, popular and emerging faces of the party, says that Nepal should have rights to use Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had recently made an announcement to expand the road across the Lipulekh area which Nepal has been historically claiming as its own.
Addressing an election rally organized by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) at Haldwani in Uttarakhand on December 30, Modi had announced that his government is further widening the road built in the Nepali territory of Lipulekh.
The statement has sparked a fresh discontent in Nepal. Nepal’s opposition parties have already started criticizing the government for not initiating measures to resolve the problem.
On January 11, the main opposition party Communist Party of Nepal – Unified Marxist Leninist (CPN-UML) had said that its attention was drawn towards the Government of India’s construction of various infrastructures in Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura area which are the inalienable territories of Nepal.
Dr Rajan Bhattarai, who heads the UML’s Foreign Affairs Department, stated in a press release that Nepal has already made its legal and political stance clear on this matter through the political-administrative map and the constitution amendment last year itself.
Here is the translated text of the statement issued by Nepali Congress:
Attention of Nepali Congress has been drawn towards the recent statement by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding construction of road in Lipulekh area. Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani are Nepal’s territory and Nepali Congress has been officially expressing its views and firm stand since the past.
Nepali Congress wants to reiterate that the party is clear and firm on its views and stand regarding [the territory]:
1. Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani are Nepali territories.
2. Nepali Congress is clear that Nepal should have territorial sovereignty over these lands.
3. The Indian troops should leave the Kalapani area.
4. Nepali Congress is clear that the new map endorsed with unity of all parties from the parliament represents Nepal’s map after the Sugauli treaty and it is. This is a common view of all the political parties of Nepal and as such it should be implemented
5. Any dispute related to the border between the two countries should be resolved based on facts and evidence. We are clear about the fact that the Treaty of Sugauli is the fact accepted by both the countries.
6. The issue of construction of roads in Lipulekh, which Nepal-India Joint Commission had agreed to resolve through diplomatic dialogue, is serious, objectionable and it should be stopped immediately.
7. Nepal has had a long and historic relationship with both neighbors. Thus, Nepali Congress is clear that any issues related to the border should be resolved on the basis of historical facts through high level diplomatic channels.
Gagan Kumar Thapa, General Secretary
Bishwo Prakash Sharma, General Secretary