A press statement issued by Indian National Congress leader Anand Sharma.
KATHMANDU, June 12: At a time when the Modi-led Indian government is ignoring Nepal's repeated calls for holding talks on boundary issues, the Indian National Congress, the opposition party of India, on Thursday stressed the need for holding dialogue between the two countries for the same.
In a press release, Chairperson of All India National Congress’ Foreign Affairs Department and State Assembly leader Anand Sharma said that existing problems should be resolved through diplomatic means.
“India and Nepal share a historic and time-tested relationship marked by mutual respect, friendship and trust. The strong cultural ties and shared traditions between the people of India and Nepal, make the relationship unique and special,” read the press release.
The statement from India's opposition party leader comes amidst diplomatic standoff between India and Nepal after India unilaterally inaugurated a strategic link road to Tibetan Autonomous Region of China via Lipu Lekh, a Nepali territory.
Mentioning that India and Nepal have invested enormously in nurturing and promoting a "strategic partnership" recognizing and respecting each other’s sensitivities, Sharma stated that India and Nepal have an established bilateral mechanism to resolve any dispute and differences through negotiations.
Sharma also called for addressing the Nepal-India boundary issues at the earliest.
Although India has been encroaching upon Nepali territories Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Susta for years, the Indian Congress leader claimed that his country has always respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of neighboring Nepal.
“There is an expressed willingness of both sides to settle all disputes in the same spirit of close friendship and mutual trust. Congress Party is of a considered view that diplomacy and negotiations must be given a chance to resolve the present issue," read the press release.
India and Nepal as neighbors and natural partners should secure and protect the precious goodwill built over the years between the two countries, the press release added.
Despite Nepal's call for resolving boundary issues through dialogue, the Indian establishment has been reluctant to hold talks with Nepal for the same. The relationship between India and Nepal is at its lowest ebb entirely due to India's big brother attitude toward Nepal, analysts say.