Nepal issues new, controversial map showing Indian territory as its own

WION New Delhi May 20, 2020, 02.53 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

New Delhi sees increased Chinese role in Nepal. Photograph:( WION )

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Earlier this month Nepali President addressing the joint session of the Parliament said the new maps of the country will be published that will show all areas it considers its own. 

The Nepali government on Wednesday issued a new, controversial map of the country which shows Indian territories of Lipulekh, Kalapani, Limpiyadhura as its own. The map was unveiled by the Ministry of Land Management, Cooperatives & Poverty Alleviation.

Earlier this month Nepali President addressing the joint session of the Parliament said the new maps of the country will be published that will show all areas it considers its own. 

Nepal President Bidhya Devi Bhandari said, "Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani region are Nepal's territory and concrete diplomatic efforts will be taken towards reclaiming these territories. An official map of Nepal will be published accordingly incorporating all the territories of Nepal."

Elaborating Nepali government's approach, Bhandari explained that the "government of Nepal is committed to safeguarding the international borders of Nepal" and "Outstanding border disputes with India will be resolved through diplomatic medium relying on available historical treaties, maps, facts and evidence"

Kathmandu raised the chorus over the issue after India's defence minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a new road from Dharchula to Lipulekh that will reduce the time taken for Kailash Mansarovar pilgrimage. After this development, Indian envoy to Nepal Vinay Mohan Kwatra was called by Nepal's Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali who raise the matter.

India has clarified to Nepal on Lipulekh that the "recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the State of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India."

New Delhi sees increased Chinese role in Nepal as a reason for current comments by Kathmandu. Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane on Friday hinted at foreign involvement with Nepal raking the Lipulekh issue.

Army Chief speaking at a think tank IDSA's online meet said, "I do not know exactly what they are exactly agitating about. Never been a problem in the past, reasons to believe they might have raised these problems, issues at the behest of someone else and there is very much a possibility."

While names have not been taken, Chinese increased involvement in the country is something that is well known. 

The ongoing dispute is not new and dates back to 1816 when under the Treaty of Sugauli, King of Nepal lost parts of its territory to British including Kalapani and Lipulekh.