'We have been restricted from going to the territory west of Kalapani after the Indian Army was stationed there in 1962'
KATHMANDU, May 19: Prime Minister KP Oli has said that Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura are indisputably Nepali territories which were made to look like disputed ones after the Indian army occupied them without any grounds in 1962.
Addressing the parliament meeting on Tuesday, Prime Minister Oli said that the Nepali side used to collect taxes, conduct census and issue land registration certificates to the residents in the villages now controlled by India until 1962. "But we were later blocked even to go there. We were blocked from going to the territory west of Kalapani after the Indian army was stationed there in 1962," he said.
Sugauli Treaty reached between Nepal and then East-India Company in 1816 has determined the River Kali as the western boundary of Nepal with India. These territories controlled by Indian side lie to the east of River Kali.
While stating that the government will make concrete diplomatic initiatives to resolve the issue of Indian encroachment of the Nepali territory, Prime Minister Oli also expressed commitment that Nepal will not let the issue of Indian encroachment fall in the backburner although this issue did not get priority in the years that followed the Indian occupation.
The remarks of Prime Minister Oli came a day after his cabinet endorsed a new political map that includes Kalapani, Lipu Lekh and Limpiyadhura currently controlled by India since 1962 without any new agreement to this effect. "These are our territories. We will retrieve our land. It is after India occupied these territories without any grounds when they were made to look like disputed territories," he further said.
While referring to the criticisms made by a section of lawmakers over its move to introduce a new political map, Prime Minister Oli clarified that this was not done for any publicity stunt. "This hasn’t been done for any publicity stunts. This hasn’t been done as any show-off, either. This in fact has been done for securing our land. This is our land. We will retrieve it. A new map has been endorsed yesterday [Monday]. It will be published today or tomorrow," Oli further said.
The prime minister also criticized those calling the government's move to introduce a new political map an attempt to show the so-called nationalism. "This is not aimed at making any propaganda. This is our territory. We will get back our land," he reiterated further, while taking part in the question-answer session on the government's Policies and Programs in parliament.
Prime Minister Oli also said that the government will soon introduce a constitution amendment proposal in parliament to change the map of Nepal as mentioned in Schedule 3 of the constitution. "We can discuss amendments on other issues as well in the future. But this one is of immediate importance. This will be introduced in parliament soon," he further said, while adding that there will be a celebration across the country when parliament endorses a new political map.
While stating that the new government was not formed at the will of any external actors, Prime Minister Oli also said that it is not appropriate for any of Nepal's neighbors to make unnecessary interference in Nepal's internal affairs. "... ‘This government was on the verge of falling down. The ambassador of a certain country saved it.’ It would have been better if none of the countries had made such weak and demeaning statements against Nepal's pride," he said.
Prime Minister Oli, however, did not name which country made such suggestions. "This government was formed by the Nepali people. It was elected by the Nepali people. It is better not to even imagine that the government was formed or will be formed or will stay in power or fall down or cause to fall down with the blessings of some other countries."
Prime Minister Oli also brushed aside allegations that his government was trying to introduce an authoritarian rule in the country. "No dictator can rise in Nepal now. It would be better not to even imagine the emergence of any dictator now. There is no possibility of authoritarianism in Nepal," he further said.