Saturday, 22 June, 2024

No compromise on territorial integrity

Border issues between Nepal and India have persisted for a long time. The Indian encroachment of the Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulek has occupied a lot of space in our media and common psyche. Nepal has made the repeated claim that the encroached land belonged to her. However, the Indian side not only deployed its army forces at the areas but also constructed a link road to facilitate Indian pilgrims' access to the Hindu pilgrimage sites, Kailash and Mansarovar. situated in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China. The Indian infringement of the Nepali territory has raised the hackles of Nepali citizens, media, civil society members, students, leaders, political parties and many several years now.

The intrusion into Nepal's territories spurred the former government of KP Sharma Oli to bring out a new political map of Nepal that showed that the encroached land belonged to Nepal. What is important about this map is that all of Nepal's political parties have given their consent to the map endorsed by the country's sovereign parliament. Facts have exhibited that the encroached land belonged to Nepal and the Nepali side has frequently asked India to withdraw its forces from these areas, but to no avail. Lately, in a clear attempt to undermine Nepal's justified claim over its land, the Indian Prime Minister made a statement stating that India constructed a road over these areas. Indian PM Narendra Modi's statement enticed the Nepali Congress to make its claim that the land over which the Indian side had built a link road belonged to Nepal.

Issuing a press statement, NC general secretary duo- Gagan Kumar Thapa and Bishwo Prakash Sharma-- said that the historical facts clearly showed that Lipulek, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani belonged to Nepal and the land should be returned to her. Nepal's new political map that included these areas and was endorsed has done justice to the historical Suguali Treaty as the land included in the map belonged to Nepal as per the treaty, which Nepal had signed with British India. The treaty requires to be implemented in letter and spirit by the Indian side. We must not forget that Nepal has its border disputes with the southern neighbour in many places. Besides disputes over Kalapani areas, issues pertaining to Susta, Pashupatinagar, and many other areas are yet to be resolved by the Indian side.

As a close friendly neighbour, the onus to resolve the dispute over the encroachment of the land lies on India. The southern neighbour has to play a constructive role suitable to regional power. Instead of being a party to the territorial encroachment dispute, India is required to abide by the time-honoured five principles of peaceful coexistence. In a modern world that has been brought closer owing to a fast advancement in technology and growing awareness about global geopolitics, no nation can misrepresent the historical facts on the ownership of a nation's territories. By poring over the historical facts, anyone in the world can ascertain the truth that the encroached lands in Kalapani, Lipulek and Limpiyadhura belonged to Nepal. India should realise that it cannot hide this truth and it would do well to serve its reputation as a friendly, generous nation if it fully respects the territorial integrity of Nepal.