The Nepal government has released its new political and administrative map by including the disputed territories – Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani, that have long been claimed by both Nepal and India.
The new map will be printed in school and college textbooks and official documents, and will be used for all administrative purposes in Nepal.
The issuance of a new map comes after India released its new map by including the disputed territories in November, 2019 and recently inaugurated a link road via Lipulekh, at 17,000 feet, to Kailash Mansarovar in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China, taking a stance on the decades-long row over the disputed territories.
Nepal has formally protested against India’s inauguration of the Himalayan link road that connects India with Mansarovar of Tibet via Lipulekh region.
Nepal and India have held a series of diplomatic talks to resolve the boundary dispute till date, but Kalapani and Susta area in southern Nepal remain two major unresolving points in negotiations.
However, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs has objected to Nepal’s new political and administrative map saying the map includes Indian territory and such ‘artificial enlargement’ of territorial claims would not be accepted by India.
Anurag Srivastava, spokesperson for the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, said, “The Government of Nepal has released a revised official map that includes parts of Indian territory. This unilateral act is not based on historical facts and evidence.”
“We hope that the Nepal will create a positive atmosphere for diplomatic dialogue to resolve the outstanding boundary issues,” he said.
Meanwhile, Indian mainstream media, on Nepal releasing its new map, are claiming that Nepal has “fallen prey to Beijing’s influence” and are covering topics like “Chinese influence in Nepal huge security threat for India” with other comments including, “While names have not been taken, China’s increased involvement in the country is something that is well known”.
Indian Army Chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane had on Friday hinted at foreign involvement for Nepal raking up the Lipulekh issue saying, “I do not know exactly what they are exactly agitating about. Never been a problem in the past, reasons to believe they might have raised these problems, issues at the behest of someone else and there is very much a possibility.”
Similarly, Indian social as well as mainstream media have been trolling and attacking actor Manisha Koirala after she applauded Nepal government’s move, which went as far as asking her to leave India. Some Indian TV news channels even held a show slamming Koirala for expressing her opinion.