The redrawing of Nepal’s map taking in Indian territory, just reflects its Prime Minister’s domestic agenda and the onus is now on him to initiate dialogue regarding this, sources have told NDTV. Nepal has claimed the land, which touches the border with China, under a treaty made with the East India Company during the British period.
The map change, the sources said, was a “myopic and self-serving political agenda”, indicating that Nepali Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli’s Nepal Communist Party made a populist move, which was also its pre-election promise. The opposition Nepali Congress has been forced to support the constitution amendment bill — which needed two-thirds majority to be passed.
On Saturday, Nepal’s parliament voted on the constitutional amendment bill to update the map, which includes Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh — land lying east of the Mahakali river located high in the mountains.
India had responded sharply, saying the “artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable”. The move, New Delhi said, also violated the “current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issues”.
Sources today said India had offered Foreign Secretary-level talks on phone and had even offered to visit Nepal.
“The Nepali side did not respond and they went ahead with the bill in parliament,” sources said, rejecting Nepal’s contention that they offered talks but India did not respond.
Nepal, sources said, had “prejudged the outcome of talks. The onus is on them now to create a conducive environment, they added.
The move to redraw the Nepali map came after India opened an 80-km-long road linking Uttarakhand with Lipulekh, to help pilgrims who travel to Kailash Mansarover in Tibet.
Nepal’s aggressive move was also combined with its Prime Minister Oli accusing India of infecting his country with coronavirus.
Sources said they were “surprised” by PM Oli singling out India. “So many Nepali nationals coming from across the world including China, but same political motivation working behind the comments,” the sources said.