Nepal Foreign Ministry summons Indian envoy over road construction for Kailash Mansarovar
New Delhi/IBNS: Amid an escalation in tension between two countries over boundary issues, Nepal foreign minister summoned India's ambassador on Monday to discuss the new road being built through the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand, that is claimed by the Kathmandu government.
Nepal Foreign Minister tweeted: "Foreign Minister Hon. @PradeepgyawaliK conveyed Government of Nepal's position on boundary issues to Ambassador of India to Nepal H.E. Mr. Vinay Mohan Kwatra at a meeting held at MoFA today and handed over a diplomatic note in this regard."
Foreign Minister Hon. @PradeepgyawaliK conveyed Government of Nepal's position on boundary issues to Ambassador of India to Nepal H.E. Mr. Vinay Mohan Kwatra at a meeting held at MoFA today and handed over a diplomatic note in this regard.— MOFA of Nepal ðŸ‡³ðŸ‡µ (@MofaNepal) May 11, 2020
Since the inauguration of the 80-kilometre road on 8th May in Pithoragarh district of Uttar Pradesh along the border with China, Nepal has expressed its anguish.
Nepal claims the pass belongs to their country under an 1816 treaty.
"The Government of Nepal has consistently maintained that as per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), all the territories east of Kali (Mahakali) River, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh, belong to Nepal. This was reiterated by the Government of Nepal several times in the past and most recently through a diplomatic note addressed to the Government of India dated 20 November 2019 in response to the new political map issued by the latter," the Nepal government said in a press statement.
On Saturday, the neighbouring had condemned India's "unilateral act" that "runs against the understanding reached between the two countries... that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiations."
"This unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries including at the level of Prime Ministers that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation. The Government of Nepal remains committed to seek diplomatic solution to boundary issues on the basis of the historical treaty, documents, facts and maps in keeping with the spirit of close and friendly ties between the two countries," it added.
In response to a media query over the issue, the Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson said: "The recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the State of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India. The road follows the pre-existing route used by the pilgrims of the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Under the present project, the same road has been made pliable for the ease and convenience of pilgrims, locals and traders."
India clarified that it is committed to resolving outstanding boundary related issues with Nepal.
"India and Nepal have established mechanism to deal with all boundary matters. The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing. India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal," the spokesperson stated.
Both sides are also in the process of scheduling Foreign Secretary-level talks which will be held once the dates are finalised between the two sides after the two societies and governments have successfully dealt with the challenge of COVID 19 emergency.