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‘Nepal Has to Build Conducive Environment for Talks’: Govt Sources

The new political map for the country contains regions currently included in the Indian map.

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Days after the House of Representatives in Nepal passed a controversial Bill, introducing a new map, which includes Indian territories, India says, ‘virtual talks and foreign secretary visits’ were offered to Nepal days before the Bill was passed but ‘PM KP Sharma Oli went ahead with the Bill and didn't tell his citizen about India's offer’, ANI reported citing sources.

According to the report, the Government of India has also said that Nepal has created a difficult situation and now it is up to their government to build a positive and conducive environment for talks.

On the killing of Bihar man, the government said that after strong intervention by the Indian mission in Nepal, Nepal released the India national on 13 June.
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'Nepal's Move Not Tenable': MEA

Earlier, the Ministry of External Affairs had called Nepal's move “not tenable”.

“This artificial enlargement of claims is not based on historical fact or evidence and is not tenable. It is also violative of our current understanding to hold talks on outstanding boundary issue,” the MEA had said.

The Bill was tabled by Law Minister Shivamaya Tumbahamphe on Sunday, 31 May. As per the new map, areas of Kalapani, Limpiyadhura, and Lipulek – which are on the Indian map – belong to Nepal. The Bill also seeks to update the map in the national emblem.

The Lipulekh pass is a far western point situated near Kalapani which is a disputed border area between India and Nepal. Both countries claim that Kalapani is a part of their territory.

India says it comes under Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district while Nepal says it is a part of their Dharchula district.

Earlier on Saturday, Agni Prasad Sapkota, Speaker of Nepal’s House of Representatives rejected an amendment to dissolve the Constitutional Amendment Bill that proposes a new political map for the country. The amendment to dissolve the new Bill was proposed by Nepal MP Sarita Giri, and was rejected under Article 112 of the Nepal constitution.

Mounting Tension

The passing of the Bill is the latest episode amid mounting tension over the border dispute. On 13 May, Nepal deployed Armed Police Force (APF) near Kalapani at Chhangru, on the Nepalese side of the border. On 12 June, one person was killed after Nepali police opened fire near the border.

The troop deployment by Nepal is in response to India’s construction of a strategically crucial link road in Uttarakhand, connecting the Lipulekh pass along the border with China.

Indian Army Chief General M M Naravane's statement, saying there is reason to believe Nepal's recent objection was "at the behest of someone else", further escalated tensions, following which the controversial Bill was tabled.

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Nepal Sets up Expert Team

Meanwhile, The Kathmandu Times reported that the Nepal government has formed a nine-member team of experts to collect historical facts and evidence related to the country’s claim to Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura.

The report said the team is tasked with finding the original or attested copies of documents related to the Nepal-India border, including the evidence regarding the northwest boundary of the country.

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