KATHMANDU, Jan 3: The upper house of parliament on Thursday directed the government to settle boundary issues with India, unanimously endorsing a resolution motion that demands the reclaiming of the Nepali territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura from encroachment by the Indian side.
The upper house – showing unprecedented unity among political parties – unanimously endorsed the motion registered by Khim Lal Bhattarai, chief whip of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP). The motion was seconded by the whip of the main opposition party Nepali Congress, Sarita Prasain.
The motion states that it was tabled with a view to raise the collective voice of the nation for the removal of Indian troops stationed in the Kalapani area of Nepal since years back and for the safeguarding of Nepal’s territorial integrity through high-level political and diplomatic initiatives. The motion also noted that there was unprecedented national unity on settling the decades-old border issues with India now.
The stricture endorsed by the upper house has sought four directives to the government. These include the settlement of boundary issues by strengthening diplomatic and high-level political initiatives by the government of Nepal and maintaining intact the national unity among political parties and people.
“The political map published recently by India incorporating the Nepali territories of Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura in Sudur Paschim Province on the Indian side of the border has drawn the serious attention of the whole nation,” reads the resolution motion in its preface.
Similarly, the motion has demanded the resolution of boundary issues all across the country through national consensus, taking the efforts initiated by the Nepal-India High-Level Technical Committee on border issues to a logical conclusion.
Following deliberations on the motion, National Assembly Chairman Ganesh Prasad Timilsina directed the government to implement the motion endorsed by the house. “The house directs the government to implement the motion endorsed by the National Assembly under Rule 87 of its regulations,” he said.
Responding to lawmakers’ concerns, Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali said that the government has taken diplomatic initiatives to bring about corrections to the newly-released Indian political map and to address outstanding border issues with India.
“Nepal and India are consulting for an appropriate date for a dialogue to resolve the border issues,” said Gyawali.
The minister also informed that the government has formed two separate committees for inspection of the borders on the Indian and Chinese sides.
Earlier, taking part in the deliberations, lawmakers asked the government to put in maximum effort to settle boundary issues, given the national consensus and unity among political parties. They also urged the government to be mindful of the historically cordial bilateral relations with India, while taking the border issues forward.