Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli addressing the National Assembly meeting earlier this afternoon. (Photo courtesy: Surya Thapa, the prime minister's press advisor)
KATHMANDU, Jan 10: Prime Minister KP Sharma Oli has vowed to retrieve the Nepali territories of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh which have long been occupied by southern neighbor India.
"Kalapani, Limpiyadhura and Lipulekh which are located east of the Mahakali River belong to Nepal as per the Sugauli Treaty. We will get them back through diplomatic talks with India," the prime minister said while addressing the National Assembly meeting on Sunday. He also said that Nepali rulers never made efforts to reclaim Nepali territories after Indian military forces started stationing there following the India-China war in 1962.
"Some people are restless because my government issued the new political map incorporating the encroached Nepali territories. In fact, our rulers hesitated to speak against the Indian encroachment. Now, we [government] are working to get back these territories," Oli said.
Stating that his government has made sincere efforts to strengthen bilateral ties with both immediate neighbors—India and China - the prime minister said that the ties have reached new heights.
The prime minister also mentioned that road connectivity with China is also being enhanced by expanding the Araniko Highway. Stating that a survey is being carried out to construct a tunnel connecting with Kerung of the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, Oli said that his efforts are concentrated to deepen ties with the northern neighbor, too.
"We are working to deepen ties with India based on sovereign equality. In fact, we want to deepen the relationship with India in true sense and we should not hesitate to raise our issues of genuine concerns with India," PM Oli said.
The prime minister also said that recent high-level visits from India and China were goodwill ones. "They came here to convey their good wishes. There is nothing to worry much about that," he said.
Talking about the long-delayed Pancheshwar Multipurpose Project, the prime minister expected that there will be a breakthrough on the project very soon.
On a different note, PM Oli said that his act of dissolving parliament was constitutional. "I was forced to dissolve the House of the Representatives as some people in my party did not allow the government to perform well," he said.
He also lambasted former chief justices for calling his act of House dissolution "unconstitutional".