Optimistic that Kalapani issue will be resolved through diplomatic process: Nepal's Foreign Minister

Optimistic that Kalapani issue will be resolved through diplomatic process: Nepal's Foreign Minister

Jan 25, 2020

Kathmandu [Nepal], Jan 25 (ANI): Describing the Kalapani dispute as a "baggage handed over by history", Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Gyawali on Friday said that he is optimistic that the lingering territorial issue would be resolved by the two countries through the "diplomatic process".
Speaking to ANI, Gyawali said that New Delhi and Kathmandu are preparing a mechanism to resolve the issue.
"Both sides are in close contact. We are optimistic that through diplomatic discussions we can solve the issue. It is not a new issue. It is a baggage handed over by history. There is a mechanism to solve this issue. We are preparing to hold that mechanism which can recommend the ways to resolve this issue," Gyawali said.
"We are optimistic that this would be resolved because both the countries have a good understanding. We are enjoying excellent relations. Any dispute which is unsettled in history should be settled so that we could move forward in a smooth way for the common good of the two countries," he added.
Nepal had raised objections over the inclusion of Limpiyadhura, Lipulek, and Kalapani areas under India's territory in a fresh map released by the Centre following the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into Union Territories.
India, on its part, has said that the map accurately depicts its sovereign territory and that it did not revise its boundary with Nepal in any manner.
Earlier, while speaking to reporters at an event, Gyawali had remarked that if India can resolve its boundary disputes with Bangladesh, then why not with Nepal.
The valley of Kalapani, with the Lipulekh Pass at the top, forms the Indian route to Kailash Manasarovar, an ancient pilgrimage site. The territory is also the traditional trading route to Tibet for the Bhotiyas of Uttarakhand.
After India closed the Lipulekh Pass in the aftermath of the 1962 Sino-Indian War, much of the Bhotiya trade used to pass through the Tinkar Pass. The Nepalese protests regarding the Kalapani territory started in 1997 after India and China agreed to reopen the Lipulekh Pass. (ANI)