Nepal has raised the Kalapani boundary dispute with India during the Joint Commission meeting, visiting Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali said here on Friday. The Minister said that the Indo-Nepal boundary dispute exists in “two segments” and Kathmandu wishes to find a solution to the matter urgently. Mr. Gyawali took up Nepal’s requirement for vaccines to fight the COVID-19 pandemic as Kathmandu approved Serum Institute of India’s (SII) Covishield vaccine.
“We started the demarcation and mapping of the boundary since 1981. At that time, Joint Technical Committee was founded which had tenure till 2007. It produced 182 strip maps which depicts the border… but for various reasons [work on] two segments — Susta and Kalapani — were not completed. If we talk of the overall boundary between Nepal and India, it is a smaller segment. However, it is an unfinished work and that’s why we are talking of the need and urgency of finalising and finishing those segments as well,” said Minister Gyawali, addressing a gathering at the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
This is the first time that the Foreign Minister of Nepal has presented the dispute on the boundary front from the Indian capital since the issue erupted in November 2019 prompting Nepal to unveil a new political map that showed the Kalapani-Lipulekh-Limpiyadhura region of Pithoragarh district as part of the country’s sovereign territory.
Friday’s observations about the border dispute reveal a slight change in Nepal’s articulation of the dispute as Kathmandu had stated while amending the Constitution to include the Kalapani region in the updated map that its claim is based on the Treaty of Sugauli of 1816.