India hits back at Nepal, says its territorial claims unacceptable

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Anurag Srivastava

Kathmandu/New Delhi– India on Wednesday hit back at the Nepal government over incorporating some its territory along the border in its revised official map, saying such unilateral moves and territorial claims are completely unacceptable.

The Nepalese government has released a revised official map which has included Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh, and Kalapani, the areas which have been part of Indian territory.

In response to media queries on the revised map, the Ministry of External Affairs official spokesperson Anurag Srivastava said that it is a “unilateral act” and “not based on historical facts and evidence.”

The move, he said, is “contrary to the bilateral understanding to resolve the outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue. Such artificial enlargement of territorial claims will not be accepted by India.” Nepal, he said, is well aware of India’s consistent position on this matter.

The government urged Nepal to “refrain from such unjustified cartographic assertion and respect India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

Srivastava said that India hoped that the Nepalese leadership will create a positive atmosphere for diplomatic dialogue to resolve the outstanding boundary issues.

On May 8, after Defence Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated a new road connecting the Lipulekh pass in Uttarakhand with Kailash Mansarovar route in China, Nepal protested against it and also threatened to put up a security post in the disputed territory.

India and Nepal share an 1,800 km-long open border. However, Nepal has disputed India’s claim over 400 sq km area at India-Nepal-China tri-junction in western Nepal and 140 sq km area of Susta in southern Nepal. The Lipulekh Pass, is a mountainous pass in the Kalapani area. In 2015, Nepal objected to an India-China agreement on trade through the Pass, claiming that it violated its territorial sovereignty. (IANS)

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