Foreign Minister expresses dismay at India sitting for talks with China while continuing to delay talks with NepalAs soon as India accepts Limpiyadhura as the origin of the Mahakali river, the boundary dispute will be resolved, Foreign Minister Gyawali said in Parliament.
Responding to questions in Parliament, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali has said that the boundary dispute with India will only be resolved once New Delhi agrees to consider the historical evidence that attests to Nepal’s rightful claim over Limipiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani.
Parliamentarians, on Tuesday, had asked Gyawali why India was ready to talk to China but kept putting off talks with Nepali. India and China held talks on Saturday to resolve a boundary dispute in eastern Ladakh. But New Delhi has told Kathmandu that it will only sit for talks once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
Nepali Congress Parliamentarian Narayan Khadka had asked Gyawali why India was insistent on delaying talks with Nepal.
Gyawali, in response, expressed consternation that India was choosing to sit for talks with China but not with Nepal.
“We are a little bit confused. If eyeball-to-eyeball talks can take place with China, why not with us?” he said.
The foreign minister went on to say that India needs to agree on Limpiyadhura as the source of the Kali, or Mahakali, River.
“Once India agrees to historical facts and evidence, then there will no border issue with India,” said Gyawali. “We do not have any interest in placing land that belongs to others in our map. We don’t want to acquire additional land. We are just looking for our land that was squeezed or trimmed after the Sugauli Treaty.”
According to the Sugauli Treaty, signed between Nepal and British India in 1825, the Mahakali river marks the boundary between the two countries with all lands east of the Mahakali belonging to Nepal. While Nepal claims that the river originates in Limpiyadhura, India has argued that it originates in Kalapani.
The current boundary dispute between the two countries arose after India opened up a new link road to Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibet Autonomous Region via Lipulekh in May. The dispute over the region has been festering ever since India, in November last year, released a new political map that included Kalapani within its borders.
Nepal has dispatched four diplomatic notes since November seeking diplomatic negotiations for settlement of the boundary dispute, but India has refused to respond in kind, only saying that it will sit for talks once the Covid-19 pandemic is over.
This led Nepal to release its own map, on May 20, staking claim to Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani.
According to Gyawali, even the Indian map released in November demarcates Limpiyadhura as the origin of the Kali River.
“As soon as they agree to this fact, we will be able to resolve the dispute,” he said. “We understand India has some difficulties in accepting this fact but this is the truth.”