Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli has said the road India has constructed in the Nepali territory can be leased to India but the land cannot be relinquished.
PM Oli invited top leaders of the political parties represented in the federal parliament and former PMs to discuss the Indian construction of the road through Lipu Lekh Wednesday evening.
PM Oli assured the leaders that the government will not relinquish the land to India, according to lawmaker of Nepal Workers and Peasants Party Prem Suwal.
"PM said in the meeting that the government will save the land added by our ancestors during the meeting," Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali told Setopati. "PM urged the leaders to not make their position based on things that have come outside."
The leaders urged PM Oli to seek diplomatic resolution of the problem, according to Minister Gyawali.
PM Oli also told the leaders that India is dawdling and saying that dialogue should be held only at the end of COVID-19 pandemic.
PM Oli had also convened an all-party meeting in November 2019 when India included Kalapani, Limiyadhura and Lipu Lekh in its new political map.
Inauguration of the Indian road via Lipu Lekh on Friday has been widely criticized by the ruling and opposition parties alike.
The Foreign Ministry has already expressed regret over the unilateral construction and urged India to refrain from carrying out any activity inside the territory of Nepal. It then summoned the Indian Ambassador to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra and handed a diplomatic note conveying Nepal's position on the issue.
Nepal has consistently maintained that as per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), all the territories east of Kali (Mahakali) River, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh, belong to Nepal.
Nepal had also expressed its disagreement in 2015 through separate diplomatic notes addressed to the governments of both India and China when the two sides agreed to include Lipu Lekh Pass as a bilateral trade route without Nepal’s consent in the Joint Statement issued on 15 May 2015 during the official visit of the Prime Minister of India to China.