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DAILY NEWS ANALYSIS

  • 16 January, 2021

  • 10 Min Read

Nepal raises Kalapani boundary issue with India

Nepal raises Kalapani boundary issue with India

  • Nepal has raised the Kalapani boundary dispute with India during the Joint Commission meeting, visiting Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said.
  • The Minister said that the Indo-Nepal boundary dispute existed in “two segments” and Kathmandu wished to find a solution to the matter urgently. Mr. Gyawali also took up Nepal’s requirement for vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as Kathmandu has approved Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield vaccine.
  • “We started the demarcation and mapping of the boundary since 1981. At that time, a Joint Technical Committee was founded which had tenure till 2007. It produced 182 strip maps which depicts the border... but for various reasons [work on] two segments — Susta and Kalapani — were not completed. If we talk of the overall boundary between Nepal and India, it is a smaller segment. However, it is an unfinished work and that’s why we are talking of the need and urgency of finalising and finishing those segments as well,” said Mr. Gyawali.
  • This is the first time that the Foreign Minister of Nepal has presented the dispute on the boundary front from the Indian capital since the issue erupted in November 2019 prompting Nepal to unveil a new political map that showed the Kalapani-Lipulekh-Limpiyadhura region of Pithoragarh district as part of the country’s sovereign territory.
  • The Hindu had reported earlier citing sources that the Indian side was aware the Nepalese delegation would raise the boundary issue in Friday’s interaction but said that India would not discuss the matter at the Joint Commission level as the boundary dispute has a dedicated Foreign Secretary-level mechanism that is yet to meet.
  • Addressing the bitterness that was witnessed in India-Nepal relations in 2020, Mr. Gyawali said there were “ups and downs” and there were differences on some issues.
  • “But overall partnership and relations moved smoothly and we should take this momentum ahead by drawing lessons from that,” said Mr. Gyawali, highlighting that Nepal Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi shared “very personal” ties.
  • A statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Nepal said “boundary and border management” was part of the discussion. In contrast, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs said “border management” was part of the discussion.
  • The statement from Nepal said that both the teams “discussed the review of the Peace and Friendship Treaty of 1950”.
  • It is understood that the review has been recommended by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG) constituted by Mr. Modi and Mr. Oli in 2016.
  • The EPG report, which has been completed, is yet to be submitted to the Indian Prime Minister.
  • The Nepalese statement said the issue of “submission” of the report was also raised during the meeting.

For India – Nepal relations: click here

Analysis of India – Nepal relations: click here

India – Nepal ties during COVID-19: click here

Source: TH


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