KATHMANDU, Dec 23: The main opposition Nepali Congress has criticized the government for failing to take concrete measures to bring back Nepali territories including Kalapani encroached by the southern neighbor India.
Speaking during the session of the National Assembly on Monday afternoon, Nepali Congress lawmaker Badri Pandey pointed out the government's failure to hold talks with India over the Kalapani issue.
"The government has failed to make its position clear to India that Kalapani is Nepal's integral part as per the Sugauli Treaty signed between Nepal and India," he said.
The NC lawmaker demanded the government to share the Federal Parliament regarding the steps taken by the government agencies concerned to retrieve encroached Nepali territory Kalapani.
"What the prime minister is doing? What the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is doing? What other authorities concerned are doing? What will be the next steps of the government to settle this issue?" Pandey said.
Stating that Nepal cannot give up even one inch of its sovereign territory, he urged the government to present concrete evidence to India to stake the country's claim over Kalapani.
According to Ministry of Home Affairs, India has encroached around 400 square kilometers of Nepali territory between Limpiadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh after the Sino-Indian war in the 1960s.
Nepal has maintained that the territory that lies to the east of the Kali River belongs to Nepal as per Article 5 of the Sugauli Treaty reached between Nepal and the then East India Company in 1816. Former government officials and historians argue that India occupied Kalapani and other territories after the 1960s in the aftermath of the Indo-China war.
Historians maintain that India had a total 18 military check posts at various border points along Nepal’s northern border until the late 1960s. But as Nepal requested the Indian side to withdraw those check posts, all but one that was in the Kalapani area was not withdrawn.
Government officials serving during the Panchayat era said they had conducted census beyond Kalapani including in Limpiyadhura and the locals there used to pay taxes to the Nepal government for long.
During today's National Assembly session, Khim Lal Bhattarai, an NA member from the ruling Nepal Communist Party, demanded the government to share its opinion before the parliament on the controversies being surfaced with regards to extending the lease period of Gokarna Forest Resort to Yeti Holdings and the illegal lease of prime land in Durbarmarg to the same company.
However, Bhattarai defended the government over the border encroachment by India saying that the government's position is clear on the Kalapani issue.
Speaking during the session, Samajbadi Party Nepal's lawmaker Ramprit Paswan also raised question on the controversies being surfaced over extending the lease period of Gokarna Forest Resort to Yeti Holdings and the illegal lease of a prime land in Durbarmarg to the same company.