Nepal-India border issue should be resolved through serious diplomatic efforts and dialogue: Oli

Kathmandu, Feb 8 (PTI) Nepal’s Prime Minister K P Sharma Oli has said that the border issue with India should be resolved through serious diplomatic efforts and political dialogue on the basis of facts and evidence, equality, dignity and justice, instead of bowing down to undue influence and pressure.

Addressing a seminar on Coordination among Security Agencies in the International Border Security and Management of Nepal’ here on Sunday, Prime Minister Oli said Nepal will hold open and friendly dialogue with India on Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani based on facts and documented evidence.

“We need to consolidate and improve our relations with the neighbouring countries on the basis of facts and evidence, equality, dignity and justice, instead of bowing down to undue influence and pressure,” said 68-year-old Oli, who had triggered a border row last year after his government came out with a new political map that showed the three Indian territories as part of Nepal.

It was important for Nepal to establish a cordial relations with the southern neighbour and expand friendship, for which “we must have printed the new map, hold dialogue with India and to return our land through dialogue,” only through which our relations will improve, he said, adding there are border issues with India in Susta and Kanchanpur too.

“We need to get back our land, we should make any move on the basis of facts and evidence and we will claim our land on that basis…We need to settle the unresolved land issue left on us by history, he added.

Ties between India and Nepal came under severe strain after Nepal last year published the new political map that showed three Indian territories – Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh – as part of Nepal.

After Nepal released the map, India reacted sharply, calling it a “unilateral act” and cautioning Kathmandu that such “artificial enlargement” of territorial claims will not be acceptable to it.

India said that Nepal’s action violated an understanding reached between the two countries to resolve the boundary issues through talks.

The bilateral exchanges that had stalled due to the bitter boundary dispute were reset in the later part of 2020 with a series of high-level visits, as New Delhi emphasised that it sees itself as the Himalayan nation’s “foremost friend” and development partner.

Nepalese Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali visited New Delhi last month and held wide-ranging talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar covering the entire expanse of bilateral ties. Gyawali said both the countries have common commitment to resolve the issue.

“We have the common commitment to resolve it. The sanctity and security of the border is extremely important for expanding the overall developmental cooperation… We both have realised the urgency (to resolve the border issue),” he had said.

Gyawali was the senior-most political leader from Nepal to visit India after relations nosedived following the boundary row.