Decrepit foreign policy elongating border dispute

KATHMANDU, Nov 11: Main opposition Nepali Congress Party’s senior leader and former Minister Narayan Prakash Saud stressed the Government of Nepal (GoN) to put the matter of border dispute diplomatically in an amicable manner. Speaking at the Reporters Club last Friday former Minister Saud said that since India released its new map which shows Kalapani and Lipulek as its territory, numerous countries in South Asia have begun debates.

“What are your priorities and concerns as Nepalese? We have to be clear on this, the Lipulek dispute is not a new matter. It is an age-old issue between the bilateral relations between India, and this has been brought up time and again. Years ago when Nepal’s census was conducted numerous Nepali pastures existed in the mountains in Kalapani. During the period of the Panchayat rule, the diameter was located in Darchula in Nepal and then the Indian army encroached in the area”.

“Historically when the treaty of Sugauli was signed with the British East India Company our borders were Mechi to the north and Mahakali to the South which has been maintained. Before the treaty, it was Teesta to the north and Kangra in the south. The Mahakali is a natural river we have to consider its geographical aspect”.

Surveyors have determined the lines, it is present in the British Library and various other sources are present. The Government of Nepal (GoN) should put its views forward precise and assertive but that has not been the case. Our countries saw various Prime Ministers but none of them could provide their approach to resolve the dispute.

“It was unfortunate that although the matter of border dispute was to be resolved by a secretary-level meet that could not materialize. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping had an agreement on Limpiadhura we never protested then, and our silence made a serious impact”.

Nepali Congress (NC) has been expressing its opinions and bringing it out to the general public regarding the border dispute. We have to be one regarding this matter. Our party President has spoken, but the ruling party stoked fake nationalism to garner votes.

“Now when the time has come to speak on this critical issue the PM remains silent. The GoN seems unable to do or say anything, and our foreign policy has been severely affected. The GoN has not taken enough responsibility, it is being defensive, but leaving partisan politics aside we all have one view regarding this, and NC totally will support the government there is no doubt on that”.

“There is a void in our diplomatic efforts from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, we have to help the GoN, and we are all committed to the spirit of nationalism. Journalists, civil society, political parties and the organs of the GoN have to unite. We will diplomatically resolve this issue and find a permanent solution. The GoN has to be firm in its stance to say that the land is rightfully ours. Through dialogue and producing evidence of historical literature and maps we have to seek a solution to the dispute,” he said.