While the Narendra Modi-led Indian government is turning a deaf ear to Nepal’s repeated calls for holding talks on territory issues, the Indian National Congress, the primary opposition party of India, stressed the need for holding dialogue between the two countries in order to resolve the longstanding border dispute.

Chairperson of India National Congress’ Foreign Affairs Department and State Assembly leader, Anand Sharma, in a press release issued on June 10, said that existing problems should be resolved through diplomatic means.

The statement from India’s opposition party leader comes at an ongoing dispute between India and Nepal after India unilaterally inaugurated a strategic link road to Tibetan Autonomous Region of China via Lipulekh – which Nepali claims as its territory.

In its response, Nepal recently released its new political map by incorporating the said territories within the national boundary and the parliament is preparing to amend the constitution so as to place the updated map in the national emblem.

Sharma stated that India and Nepal have an established bilateral mechanism to resolve any dispute and differences through negotiations as India and Nepal have invested enormously in nurturing and promoting a “strategic partnership”.

“There is an expressed willingness of both sides to settle all disputes in the same spirit of close friendship and mutual trust. Congress Party is of a considered view that diplomacy and negotiations must be given a chance to resolve the present issue,” read the press release.

“India and Nepal as neighbors and natural partners should secure and protect the precious goodwill built over the years between the two countries,” the press release added.