Nepal's new map to get constitutional backing soon

New Delhi Updated: Jun 09, 2020, 10:21 PM IST
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New Delhi sees increased Chinese role in Nepal. Photograph:(WION)

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The amendment bill also depicts areas of Kalapani and Limpiyadhura within its own borders

Nepal is hell-bent on rewriting its border with India. In a few days, the new map is likely to get complete constitutional backing. The constitutional amendment bill was introduced in the parliament today. It is said to have been welcomed by the opposition party in the lower house.

The bill is now making its way to the upper house. However, is Nepal getting cold-feet as the bill nears the final stages?

Now, the foreign minister is calling for talks with India. In this interview with the Associated Press, Foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali is seen explaining the new map of Nepal. He is also seen pointing at the disputed territory with India. The new map by Nepal marks the disputed territory of Lipulekh as its own.

The amendment bill also depicts areas of Kalapani and Limpiyadhura within its own borders. These territories belong to India. Now unabashedly, Nepal wants to sit at the table to settle all the problems. India's stance is clear. Dialogue is possible only if Nepal tapers its ambition of claiming India's territories as its own. Also, India wants to direct its full energy in containing the virus outbreak. If Nepal was open to talks it would not be opportunistic.

The amendment bill would not have been tabled until talks were held. The main point of contention is the Lipulekh road, which serves as the shortest route between New Delhi and Kailash-Manasarovar. With Nepal now claiming Lepulekh as its own, it took offence to India's defence minister Rajnath Singh inaugurating the road in May.

Now, Nepal's foreign minister is audaciously justifying the decision to pressurise India during the pandemic. Without prejudice and bias, he says. Nepal raised the dispute with India as Indian and Chinese troops clashed near the Sikkim border. The timing was just right Or, should we say coordinated?

 It's Nepal's prejudice and bias towards china that must be questioned. It's the political manoeuvring of the pro-Chinese prime minister KP Sharma Oli that must be blamed For souring the relations between the two countries.