KATHMANDU, Nov 12: The State Affairs Committee (SAC) of the House of Representatives (HoR) has directed the government to issue a new political map of Nepal comprising Limpiadhura, one of the major contentious border points with India, a week after the controversy created by a new Indian political map which includes the Nepali territories of Kalapani and Lipulekh.
After hearing from the government ministers and officials concerned, the House panel directed the government to issue a new map of the country comprising the trilateral border point as Nepal's territory.
In its political map, Nepal has not comprised Limpiyadhura which is some 30 kilometers northwest of Kalapani, which is the last border point on Nepal's political map. “The committee directs the government to issue a new map of Nepal comprising the territory up to Limpiadhura and also update the curriculum correcting Nepal's map in the country's educational materials,” said committee chairperson Shashi Shrestha reading out the decision.
Limpidhura is considered the origin of Kali (Mahakali) river which demarcates the border between the two countries as mentioned in the Sugauli Treaty signed between the then East India Company and Nepal in 1815.
The decision of the parliamentary committee comes in the wake of agitations and ire in the country after India released a new political map on November 2 showing Kalapani and Lipulekh inside its boundary.
The parliamentary committee has further directed the government to settle the border dispute with India through diplomatic and political mechanisms. “The committee suggests to the government to internationalize the issue if it is not resolved through the diplomatic efforts between the two countries,” reads the committee's direction.
According to the official records, Nepal has border dispute with neighboring India at 71 places in 23 districts. Surrounded by India on the eastern, southern and western sides, Nepal shares open border with the neighboring country.
Home Minister Ram Bahadur Thapa said that the government has been seeking a political solution to the border dispute and also planning to boost security along the Nepal-India border.
“We are revising our border security policy and deploying the security forces every 10 kilometers of the border soon from the existing 35 km,” said Thapa.
Speaking at the committee meeting, former prime minister and chairperson of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that Nepal should seek diplomatic solutions at first instead of resorting to internalizing the issue.
“We cannot leave an inch of our land and don't need an inch of others as well,” Dahal said. “We should seek a solution to the border dispute through diplomatic and political channels.”
Lawmakers in the committee urged the government to take a firm stance against India to reclaim the Nepali territory and internationalize the issue if needed. The parliamentary committee has also suggested to the government to settle the border dispute at various places with India at the earliest. Similarly, the House panel has also asked the government to submit the Nepal-India joint Eminent Persons Group (EPG) report to the parties concerned without further delay and make the document public.