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Map row: India puts ball in Nepal PM's court to create positive atmosphere for talks

On the tabling of the Bill to amend Nepal’s Constitution to include Lipulekh, Limipiyadhura and Kalapani in its map, sources said 98 per cent of the border was delineated.

Published: 16th June 2020 02:09 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th June 2020 11:28 AM   |  A+A-

PM Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli

PM Narendra Modi and his Nepalese counterpart Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli (File Photo | PTI)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India on Monday asserted that the onus is now on the KP Sharma Oli government to create a positive and conducive atmosphere for talks on territorial dispute as its previous offer of foreign secretary-level talks with Nepal on the territorial dispute met with no response.

On the tabling of the Bill to amend Nepal’s Constitution to include Lipulekh, Limipiyadhura and Kalapani in its map, sources said 98 per cent of the border was delineated and only two disputed areas exist in Bihar and Uttarakhand.

“We have been in touch with the Nepal government and even made an offer for foreign secretary-level talks just before the Bill was tabled in House of Representatives. However, we got no response from them. Now the onus is on the Oli government to create positive and conducive atmosphere for talks to be held,” a source said, adding that tabling of the Bill was driven by a domestic political agenda and pre-judges the conclusion of the talks.

Sources said the Nepal government’s decision to form a committee to examine claims regarding the border was evidence of a “hastily taken decision” for political gains. “In the past, we have given enough evidence of our claims. They are in the public domain. The 1817 Governor General ruling that only two of the four villages demanded should be given to Nepal is also in the public domain,” the source said, adding that it was surprising that Nepal was laying claim to Kunti after 200 years.

New Delhi also expressed surprise at Nepal PM’s comments linking the rise in the number of coronavirus cases to returnees from India.

“It is surprising that Oli is singling out India... A lot of people enter Nepal, including from China. There is political motivation behind the comment,” the source said.

At the same time, India said it enjoys good people-to-people relations with Nepal and will not stop its development projects in the country.

“All development projects are on track. In the times of the pandemic, we have provided assistance worth Rs 4.5 crore.”

On Monday, India signed an MoU with the Ministry of Federal Affairs and General Administration and the Kathmandu Metropolitan City to provide Nepali Rupees 37.23 million for setting up sanitation facilities at the Pashupatinath temple.

Nepalese Intrusion in no-man’s land

At India-Nepal border in Uttar Pradesh, Nepali citizens have started occupying areas on no-man’s land along the border in Lakhimpur Kheri district. Nepalese forces too have set up five Border Out Posts in Kailali area on their side of the border

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