Diplomats seek talks on Kalapani

Mohan Baidhya.

Mohan Baidhya.

Dialogue is the only way forward for addressing the Nepal-India border issue, a senior Nepali diplomatic source said on Monday. The comment from the diplomat came a day after Prime Minister K.P. Sharma Oli demanded withdrawal of Indian military personnel from the Kalapani region which the new political map of India has shown as part of Uttarakhand.

“Dialogue is the only way out given our centuries-old multifaceted bilateral relationship,” said the Nepali diplomatic source on Monday requesting anonymity. He described the Kalapani issue as “a highly sensitive matter” which requires cautious diplomacy.

The border issue flared up again on Monday after Mohan Baidhya, leader of the Nepal Communist Party (Revolutionary Maoist), asked for the withdrawal of military presence.

Addressing a press conference organised by his party at Janakpurdham in Dhanusha district, Mr. Baidhya said the stationing of the military in Nepali territory is a matter that calls for diplomatic solution.

“The government should be serious about the encroachment of Kalapani and seek its resolution,” said Mr. Baidhya who is known for his strong views.

Nepal has witnessed street protests since India published a new political map on November 2 which portrayed the newly-created Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh as separate entities.

The same map drew strong protest from Nepal’s Foreign Ministry on November 6 as it depicted the Kalapani region as part of Uttarakhand.

Nepal’s Foreign Ministry had said Kathmandu is committed to safeguarding its sovereign territory.

Its Ambassador Nilambar Acharya met Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on November 8 and the embassy of Nepal announced that the two sides discussed the “boundary issue”.

Sources indicated that a preliminary dialogue to resolve the issue was held and more talks were not ruled out.

Addressing a meeting of the National Youth Organisation, Mr. Oli on Sunday said in Kathmandu his government is patriotic and will not surrender territory to India. “Our patriotic government will not allow anybody to encroach on even an inch of Nepal’s territory. India should withdraw its security forces from the Kalapani area,” said Mr. Oli.

He reiterated that Nepal wants a diplomatic solution.

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Printable version | Aug 17, 2022 3:58:37 am |