Kathmandu: New Delhi says such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India. Nepal’s new official map is “artificial” and unacceptable to India, the Ministry of External Affairs said on Wednesday after Kathmandu unveiled a new political map that claimed Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh of Uttarakhand as part of its sovereign territory. “This unilateral act is not based on historical facts and evidence. It is contrary to the bilateral understanding to resolve the outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue. Such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India,” said official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava, urging Kathmandu to opt for diplomatic dialogue to settle border disputes.
Earlier in the day, the new map was launched at a press conference in Kathmandu by Minister of Land Management Padma Kumari Aryal, who said the government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli is committed to protecting the territorial integrity of the country. “It is a historic moment of happiness for the people of Nepal.
The government of Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli will uphold the prestige of Nepal. We will publish the new map and make it a part of the school textbooks,” said Ms. Aryal launching the map, which escalates the row over territorial claims between the two South Asian neighbours. India said Nepal was aware of the understanding on this issue and asked the government of Mr. Oli to return to dialogue. “We urge the Government of Nepal to refrain from such an unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
Nepali diplomatic sources maintain the region of Kalapani
and the contiguous areas to the east of the river Kali and Susta on the Uttar Pradesh-Bihar border are the only parts of the nearly 1,800-km India-Nepal boundary that remain unresolved. The area of Susta near Gorakhpur can also be noted in the new map. Kathmandu claims that India has encroached upon this area, claiming tracts of land, and wants Delhi to evacuate population from the location. Launching of the new map took place a day after Mr. Oli in a speech in parliament targeted India for alleged attempts at regional domination.
“India’s Ashokan pillar has the lions with ‘Truth shall prevail’ inscribed at the base. They actually mean ‘Lion (might) shall prevail. But Nepal is certain that truth alone shall prevail,” he said on Tuesday, holding India responsible for the spread of the novel coronavirus in the Himalayan country. The observations indicated the mood of the political class in Kathmandu which has been on a collision course with India since Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a link road to Tibet on May 8. The newly inaugurated Darchula-Lipulekh link road passes through the disputed region and will cut travelling time to Mansarovar pilgrimage destinations. Nepal had reacted angrily asserting the area belongs to Kathmandu and Mr. Oli had said his government was willing to give a road to Tibet on lease to India without surrendering the region. “We look forward to begin diplomatic negotiation with friendly nation of India regarding the territorial issues,” Ms. Aryal said on Wednesday. Following the Indian action of May 8, there were reports of anti-India protests in parts of Nepal. India had published a new map on November 2, 2019, representing the political boundaries of the country which showed the status of the newly created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.