Reporters Club Event: The Prime Ministers Foreign Affairs adviser Dr. Rajan Bhattarai said, “let me make it clear that both Kalapani and Lipulek are integral parts of Nepal, it was the Nepal Communist Party who first brought this issue. Our government has noted what has transpired over the days and we are in the process of a detailed study”.
Speaking at a special interaction program organized in the Reporters Club presided by senior Journalist and President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala, Dr. Bhattarai spoke about the recent controversy regarding the release of the new Indian map after India bifurcated its internal areas into union territories. Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh were made new union territories of India and the Home Ministry had released a new map to reflect the new changes.
The new map, however, shows that the disputed regions of Kalapani and Lipulek well within the boundaries of India which are integral parts of Nepal.
(Foreign Affairs adviser to the Prime Minister of Nepal Dr. Rajan Bhattarai)
Dr. Bhattarai’s statement comes after journalist Dhamala asked him about the recent allegations in by the Nepalese media on the issue of India unilaterally taking the step to claim the land as part of their own. He asked to fairly substantiate the Government of Nepal’s (GoN) position regarding this issue and what were the steps that were being taken to bring it into a diplomatic conclusion.
“It has come to the notice of the government, and we are working closely with a study team that is closely looking at every aspect of this case of the disputed territories of Kalapani and Lipulek.
We need to understand several dynamics behind the entire scenario, the first being that Kalapani and Lipulekh are integral parts of Nepal and there is no discrepancy and neither will we compromise on our territorial integrity.
We have to negotiate the border dispute and bring it into a substantive conclusion. There is no other option than to use diplomatic channels in this case. A permanent mechanism is being sought by the GoN to come to a permanent solution regarding the issue of the border dispute.
An important factor to take note is that any agreement or move toward this dispute cannot be one-sided. Both Nations have to sit and try and resolve the dispute with mutual understanding and cooperation without hurting each other’s sentiments and integrity.
We also need to look at this historical point where this dispute was generated. Now we have transformed into the age of global positioning system (GPS), and it may not take long to resolve border disputes, however, there are many such instances where disputes have carried on for over 3 decades. Take a look at India and China, they have partnership and ties in various areas both are cooperating in the economic transformation of their respective countries but they have border dispute s at multiple points.
Our decisions that we make regarding the borders should not affect the people and their way of life of those living in the area. We have to be sensitive toward them and bring about a comprehensive solution to the issue. The border dispute has also been mentioned in the Eminent Person’s Group (EPG) report”.
Dr. Bhattarai also said that diplomacy was the only way out and requested the media to publish facts and refrain from blowing things out of proportion that would damage the relations between two Nations. Although he maintained his stance of Nepal not giving away an inch to what is rightfully ours.
Similarly, he also said that Nepal is given to us by the enormous sacrifice of our ancestors it is our supreme responsibility to protect and preserve it.
Finally speaking about the condition of the Prime Ministers’ health, Dr. Bhattarai said that he was doing well and that since he had a renal transplant there are problems that arise, but that has not stopped him from carrying out his daily duties as the Prime Minister. He has continuously been working and holding meetings. The PM is fit to work, and as of now, there is nothing to be concerned regarding his health.