Prime Minister (PM) KP Sharma Oli has claimed China has said its agreement with India to include Lipu Lekh pass as a bilateral trade route does not define international border.
Responding to questions raised by lawmakers in the House on Tuesday about whether Nepal has raised the issue of Indian road through Nepali territory of Lipu Lekh with China, PM Oli revealed that the government officials concerned have already talked with China on that.
PM Oli said that China has answered that the agreement was only related to traditional pilgrimage and trade routes and in no way means that the international borders should be defined by the agreement.
He claimed that China has said that its position has already been relayed to India, and urged Nepal to continue dialogue with India on the border dispute.
India and China had 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. Nepal had expressed its disagreement immediately sending separate diplomatic notes addressed to the governments of both India and China.
Inauguration of the Indian road via Lipu Lekh on April 8 has been widely criticized by the ruling and opposition parties alike.
The government on Monday subsequently passed a new map including Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura.
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.
Published Date: Tuesday, Jestha 6, 2077, 15:13:00