Review Nepal News

Protect the territory and integrity of the nation

www.reviewnepal.com
  Kathmandu, Nepal      May 18 2020

Inauguration of the road constructed by the Indian through Lipulekh to join with China has sparked uproar in every spectrum of life, particularly in the political and diplomatic level, even though the encroachment of Nepali territory in the borders is not a new issue for the country. Not only the government but also the political parties regardless of government head Nepal Communist party (NCP) and the main opposition Nepali Congress (NC) but others have condemned the move. Student organizations affiliated to the different political parties and the civil society members have hit the streets protesting the unilateral construction of road in the Nepali land. Likewise, Nepalese nationals living around the world have also come down heavily upon India’s act through various social media.
 
The univocal voices raised from all the sectors is that the construction of the strategic link road by India that connects Dharchula of the Indian State of Uttarakhand with the Tibetan Autonomous Region (TAR) of China via the Lipulekh Pass is the sheer infringement on Nepal's territorial integrity by violating the treaty signed by the two countries, international laws and practices. It is likely that the ritual trend of the ongoing protest would result nothing to retrieve the encroached land because none of the government and political parties can dare to challenge the India.  
 
With the emergence of the issue, the government and political parties pretended to have informed just recently about the construction of road in the Nepali territory. This will be a matter of shame for the nation if our government and political parties were informed only after India's Defense Minister Rajnath Singh announced the completion of the link road ‘to be used by Indian pilgrims to go to Mansarovar of Tibet via the Lipu Lekh Pass. As the saga of border encroachment has a long history, blame goes to all the rulers including the recent one government. The construction of the 17-km-long stretch road that entirely lies in the Nepali territory was begun since 2008.
 
History suggests that Nepal had allowed India to station its army in Kalapani during the India-China war in 1962. Since then, it has continuously been encroaching whole the area of Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipu Lekh considering to the region of strategic importance. As India has also put in place a three-layer security mechanism- Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB), Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Indian Army in the Limpiyadhura, Kalapani and Lipulekh region, the issue had begun to emerge even in the parliament. But, none of the governments in the past had taken appropriate initiatives to settle the issue through the political and diplomatic level. The latest saga of decade long apathy was exposed once India had unveiled a new political map through its Home Ministry placing Kalapani inside the Indian borders on November 2. The revelation of new political map has indicated that India is not ready even to agree the land as disputed area.  
 
Though the blames does not necessarily go only to the incumbent government but others for keeping the Kalapani issue at the backburner, incumbent government should take the responsibility for the delay to publish its own political map to counter the India controversial move. As India has not only officially claimed the Nepali land but unilaterally constructed the roads going against the treaty between the two countries and international laws, the government should not delay even to knock the door of the international court even if the diplomatic and political efforts failed to retrieve the encroached land. Nepal can easily retrieve the encroached land if it dare to present evidences including the Sugauli Treaty signed between Nepal and the then East India Company in 1816, that clearly states that the Mahakali River, which originates from Limpiyadhura was the border between Nepal and India. This will be sufficient to retrieve the Nepali land including the Kalapani and Lipu Lekh.