Nepal has sovereign and exclusive rights in disputed territories: Former DPM Rawal

KATHMANDU, Nov 11: Former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) Bhim Rawal has said that “Limpiadhura, Lipulek, Susta, and Kalapani are geographically a part of Nepal, and in order to get that back the Government of Nepal (GoN) should pursue active diplomacy”.

“The geographical integrity and its consolidation have to be maintained and Prime Minister K.P.Oli has called for an all-party meet. The NCP has support and strength of all the parties”.

Speaking at a program organized at the Reporters Club officiated by senior journalist and President of the Reporters Club Rishi Dhamala yesterday the former DPM spoke on the current border dispute between Nepal and India.

“GoN should have a clear stand and approach regarding the border dispute. It is the first time in modern history that for the Nation’s territorial integrity leaders are putting behind partisan politics and all the parties represented in the parliament are unanimous in their support”.

(Former Deputy Prime Minister and senior leader of the ruling Nepal Communist Party Bhim Rawal)

“We have put it organizationally and the GoN now should start a dialogue with India as additional strength has been received. This is an opportunity for the government. India and Nepal have a majority government, and the ruling parties are powerful. This is a chance to find the answers to all the questions we have regarding Nepal-India ties. The GoN has to take an active step and that is my suggestion”.

“I had spoken in the committee meeting yesterday. This is a momentous opportunity to initiate a dialogue with India regarding the border dispute. Kalapani, Susta, and various other border points that have issues can be resolved and Nepal’s sovereignty established. We can then proceed to conclude the strip map of both nations.

Surveyors have to be consulted and a solution has to be sought with a clear conceptual framework. Only those who have a high moral character, efficiency and proficiency in geography should be given the responsibility of constructing the map”.

The former DPM spoke about how there was enough evidence to prove that the disputed territories of Limpiadhura, Lipulek, Susta, and Kalapani belonged to Nepal and that it had an exclusive sovereign right to these lands. There were records, historical writings, maps and agreements which depict the disputed territory as part of Nepal.

The former DPM said, “we have to include academic professionals, surveyors, and diplomatic personnel along with historians in the team that will initiate a dialogue regarding the matter”.

He also spoke of the necessity to reconstruct lost and broken border pillars. He also said that during the all-party meet he spoke about the “tremendous necessity for Prime Minister Narendra Modi to accept the report prepared by the Eminent Persons Group (EPG).  The use of the EPG, however, should also take into account historical contexts and other facts prevalent”.

“In yesterday’s meeting, I also spoke on the relevance of adding the triangular disputed section of Kalapani to be included in the study of geography for children. The Indian Army that is stationed there also has to be removed. I also spoke about providing logistics and other support in the area for administrative purposes to strengthen our hold to PM Oli during our meeting”.

“We cannot wait for India to take the initiative all the time, this time we have to take an active diplomatic step to resolve this dispute. The media has constantly shed light on various activities in our borders regarding the Junge pillar and others that have been lost. We have to seriously bring this issue internationally as there are challenges of cross border crime, and we have to take it with caution and seriousness”.

“In King Mahendra’s time, there was an agreement regarding Kalapani and the integrated development of the Mahakali River. A resolution was passed along with a formation of a special committee in the parliament. There was an extensive discussion about the origin of the Mahakali River.

“During the committee meeting an employee of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs stated that the King had signed an agreement with India, I said to Ram Chandra Poudel who was presiding over the meeting that if such is the case then let the agreement be submitted before the committee and till then this meeting can be adjourned. The fact is there was no agreement it was false, and that if there was an agreement then it would have been shown to us by our Indian counterparts”.

“Resolving the border dispute is not to disrupt peace or stop people from moving to and fro, most importantly it is to curb and neutralize criminal activities. Recently the United States government released a report which says that Indian Mujahideen has not only entered Nepal but is proactive. This is extremely serious. This is why when I was the Home Minister I had kept an armed police force check post.

“This entire matter will be discussed in the executive committee meeting. We cannot let this issue go stale without taking an appropriate initiative. We have to provide utmost importance, if not it will be concerning, and hence the government will not retract” he said.