Govt working to retrieve encroached territory: PM Oli

Published On: November 12, 2019 06:55 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Nov 12: Prime Minister KP Oli has said the government is working resolutely to bring back the Nepali territory encroached by India in the western border.

In his briefing at the Secretariat Meeting of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) held at his official residence in Baluwatar on Monday, the prime minister said the government is working to make Nepal's official position for starting negotiations with India concerning Indian inclusion of Kalapani and other territories in its political map.

The prime minister said all historical evidences to support Nepal's position that Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura belonged to Nepal at the time of the signing of the Sugauli Treaty with the then British India will be collected. “There will be negotiations with India through appropriate diplomatic channel once Nepal's official position is prepared,” said NCP Secretariat Member Narayan Kaji Shrestha.

Prime Minister Oli had also said that the government was committed to safeguarding its national borders and bringing back the encroached Nepali territory.

There already is a Boundary Working Group of Nepal and India to resolve the outstanding border issues. During the Joint Commission (JC) meeting held in 2014, the two countries had agreed to settle the outstanding border issues including Kalapani through foreign secretary-level mechanisms with technical inputs from the Department of Survey.

Amid mounting protests across the country against the new Indian political map, Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has requested the Indian side to schedule a foreign secretary level meeting as agreed during the JC meeting held in 2014 to settle the issues once and for all.

Nepali ambassador to India Nilamber Acharya on Thursday met with Indian Foreign Secretary Vijaya Gokhale and requested him for scheduling the Foreign Secretary level meeting at the earliest possible date.

Although the Indian side, according to Nepali officials, has positively responded to Nepal's request, the exact date is yet to be finalized.

“Nepal has already drawn attention of the Indian side through our embassy in New Delhi. Negotiations will be expedited with India soon to resolve these issues through appropriate diplomatic channel,” Shrestha quoted Prime Minister Oli as saying.

Addressing a meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on International Relations on Monday, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said the encroached territory of Nepal will be brought back through diplomatic way.

Former Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal had asked the government to collect all evidences before sitting for talks with the Indian side.

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