KATHMANDU, May 10: Lawmakers have demanded that the government provide information regarding its preparations to tackle the issue of the construction of a link road by the southern neighbor India upto Tibet through the Nepali territory of Lipulekh.
Nepali Congress lawmaker Dilendra Prasad Badu accused the government of being in a deep sleep throughout the time India constructed the road. “The Sushil Koirala-led government had sent a serious protest note to the southern neighbor when India and China inked an agreement regarding the road construction,” said Badu, wondering whether the present government had sent any note to India even after its inauguration. He also expressed his serious concerns over the statement by some government authorities that they were unaware of the road construction. “I repeatedly drew the attention of the government in this regard through the media and parliament. However, the government paid no heed.”
MP representing Janata Samajwadi Party Mahanta Thakur asked whether the government had any presence in the disputed region.
A Janata Samajwadi Party lawmaker, Giri suspected whether some are attempting to over politicize the border issue with India. She also inquired whether the government has any plan to send diplomatic notes to the northern neighbor China.
Durga Poudel, a lawmaker of Rastriya Janamorcha, suggested to the government to knock the door of the international court as ‘India seems to have paid no attention’ to Nepal’s diplomatic notes.
Lingden, an MP representing Rastriya Prajatantra Party, blamed the government for turning a blind eye to the road construction by India. Reminding the instruction by a house panel to the government to publish a new political map of Nepal after India unveiled its controversial map on November 2, last year, he expressed his disappointment over the government's indifference. “Why is the government trying to undermine the issue of border security and sovereignty?” he questioned.
A lawmaker of the ruling Nepal Communist Party, Bhim Rawal strongly condemned the recent act of India and said that it was against international law. “This goes against the rule of good neighborhood and civilized society,” said he and urged the Indian side to end such an activity and call back its army from the disputed region. Speaking further, he added, “If India can publish its map placing the territory of another country, which force has been obstructing Nepal to unveil its map including its official territory?” He also urged the government to disclose the difficulties, if any, in that regard.
NC lawmaker Minendra Rijal accused the ruling NCP of forming two opposite alliances over such issues. "When India encroached upon the border in November last year, there were two groups -- one to condemn and other to defend," he said. He added that the NCP has shown double-standard regarding the Millennium Challenge Compact. "Do you have a similar plan during this time also?"
Rijal said that just sending a note doesn't make any sense. He further asked FM Gyawali about the government plans.
Krishna Bhakta Pokhrel
Another MP Krishna Bhakta Pokhrel said, “The government should also take this issue to the United Nations and international courts if it is not possible to resolve it through talks," he suggested.
NC lawmaker Pushpa Bhusal said that Article 5 of the Sugauli Treaty signed in 1816 between Nepal and the then East India Company is the strongest evidence that Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh are parts of Nepal. “However, a government minister had given an irresponsible statement that Limpiyadhura doesn’t lie in Nepal’s map,” she said and added, “Who is going to take responsibility for this --- the Prime Minister or the Government of Nepal or the Minister for External Affairs?”
NCP lawmaker Sharma also condemned the Indian encroachment of Nepali territory and suggested to the government to seek a long term solution. “Sending diplomatic notes alone is not sufficient,” he said. He further urged the government to object to the Chinese intervention as well.
Gagan Kumar Thapa
NC lawmaker Thapa while condemning the encroachment by the Indian side, asked what was the field observation made by the Defence Minister Ishwar Pokharel for. "Was it just a pilgrimage? If not, what has the government done during this interval?"
Reminding the government of India' latest statement claiming that the road has been constructed fully in the Indian territory, MP Thapa wondered whether Nepal is going to regret the issue or strongly object to the encroachment. He further assured the government of complete support from his party against India's hegemony and China's 'warm support'.
Lawmaker Pandey drew the attention of the government to brief the house about the regular efforts made in this connection. He stated that issuing a statement and keeping silence don't provide any solid solution.
Other lawmakers Khagraj Adhikari, Divyamani Rajbhandari and Lalbabu Pandit rose from their seats and protested for not getting time to speak. Speaker Agni Sapkota said that the list of speakers for today's meeting was finalized after consulting the chief whip of each party.