The Kalapani Issue: India and Nepal to Hold Talks

In News

India and Nepal are set to resolver the Kalapani border issues through dialogue.

In-Detail

  • In the latest political map of India, the area Kalapani near Nepal border was included in the map.
  • India claims that it is part of the country’s sovereign territory and no way altered the border of Nepal.
  • Nepal claims that Kalapani is a part of it.
  • Ministry of External Affairs, in a press release stated that both the countries will hold diplomatic talks at Foreign Secretary-level to resolve the issue.
  • Also, the Ministry noted that the boundary delineation issue with Nepal is going as per the existing mechanisms.
  • In Nepal, the Supreme Court of the country sought the government to submit the country’s original map exchanged with India in 1816 as part of Sugauli treaty of 1816 within 15 days.

The Confusion

  • Lipulekh pass which is in Kalapani is at the India-China-Nepal tri-junction.
  • This has strategic significance for India.
  • The high Lipulekh pass allows India to monitor the activities of China at the border.
  • Nepal sought to use the node as a trade point with both India and China.
  • With the inclusion of the pass in India’s revised political map, Nepal is miffed as it claims that Lipulekh and Kalapani are part of its territory.
  • In the 1816 Sugauli treaty signed between Nepal and British India, identified Kali river as the border with Nepal. This is at the border of Uttarakhand and Nepal.
  • Nepal claims that the river to Kalapani’s west is the main Kali river and hence Kalapani is a part of it.
  • India claims that a ridgeline to the east of Kalapani is the border and hence it is a part of its territory.

Rocky Relations

  • India-Nepal ties have been rocky since the adoption of new Constitution by Nepal in 2015 and the alleged blockade of trade by people of Terai region with the help of India.
  • Also, the demonetisation of 2016 had hurt Nepal badly.
  • India, on its part not pleased with Nepal joining China’s Belt and Road Initiative.
  • Nepal is displeased with India prioritising BIMSTEC and BBIN over SAARC.

Conclusion

To sum up, India’s ties with Nepal are simmering and it cannot be led to further simmering due to the Kalapani issue. It must be resolved amicably.

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