CPN Chairman Pushpa Kamal Dahal has opined that it is not time to internationalize the border dispute with India.
Speaking in the meeting of State Affairs Committee of the parliament convened Monday morning to discuss inclusion of Lipu Lekh and Kalapani of Nepal in the new political map published by India, Dahal said the dispute should be resolved through bilateral dialogue and discussion.
"It is not time to internationalize the border dispute. Doing so will create further problems," Dahal stressed.
He added that Nepal will not give up even an inch of her land and not take an inch of Indian land. He opined that it is the right time to resolve the longstanding border dispute as both the countries currently have a stable government.
He pointed that Sugauli Treaty clearly states that Limpiyadhura is the source of Mahakali and argued that it does not need reiteration. He also lauded the unprecedented national unity on the issue of border dispute.
Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli was also invited to the meeting but he snubbed the summons. Land Management, Cooperatives and Poverty Alleviation Minister Padma Aryal put the government's position on the issue in the meeting in absence of PM Oli.
This was the first time Oli was summoned by any parliamentary committee since he started his latest term as PM following the last general election.
The issues related to the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers come under the State Affairs Committee. Other parliamentary committees can also summon the PM but none had invited PM Oli until now with the committee chairmen, mostly from ruling CPN, hesitant to summon their own party chairman.
PM Oli has been avoiding even the questions-answer sessions required as per the House of Representatives (HoR) regulation of late.
The inclusion of Lipu Lekh and Kalapani of Nepal in the new political map published by India has been widely condemned with the ruling and opposition parties alike protesting the Indian act.
The all-party meeting convened by PM Oli Saturday evening has decided to initiate formal dialogue with India about Kalapani and Lipu Lekh.
The government has already stated that Nepal does not accept the map issued unilaterally by India. "The Nepal government is clear that Kalapani area is part of Nepal," the Foreign Ministry said issuing a statement on Wednesday. "It is clear that outstanding border issues between the two countries should be concluded with bilateral consensus, and any decision taken unilaterally will not be acceptable for Nepal government."
The ministry stressed that border disputes between the two friendly neighbors should be resolved through diplomatic channel on the basis of historic documents and evidence.
Government Spokesperson and Minister for Communication and Information Technology Gokul Baskota on Thursday elaborated on the historic evidence on Thursday pointing that Nepal conducted a census in the area in 2018 BS and has historical evidence proving Nepal collected tax from the surrounding areas in the past. "That shows that the land was in Nepal's control in the past for one cannot go to another country and conduct census and establish revenue offices," he argued.
The Indian government, meanwhile, has said it is committed to finding a solution to border disputes with Nepal through dialogue.
Responding to a question about the outrage against Indian in Nepal over inclusion of Lipu Lekh and Kalapani of Nepal in the new political map published by India and the Indian government's response to the statement issued by the Nepali Foreign Ministry on Wednesday during the weekly media briefing on Thursday, Spokesperson at the Indian Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar claimed that the new map does not change the Indian borders with Nepal in any way.
"Our map accurately depicts the sovereign territory of India. The new map has in no manner revised our boundaries with Nepal," he stated. "The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing under the existing mechanism. We reiterate our commitment to find a solution through dialogue in the spirit of close and friendly bilateral relationship."
He also hinted that the current uproar in Nepal may have been stirred by some vested interests and called for a need to guard against such interests. "I think this is very important to note, that both sides should guard against vested interests who are out there to create some differences between the two countries."