March 4, 2021
Asia

Artificial enlargement of claims not tenable, says India on Nepal map move

NEW DELHI: India on Saturday slammed Nepals constitutional amendment to change its map on the national emblem to include Indian territories, saying it was not “tenable”.
In a strongly worded statement after Nepals lower house unanimously passed the constitutional amendment on Saturday, the MEA spokesperson Anurag Shrivastava said, “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 issues."
For the second time in five years, the India-Nepal relationship is heading for a train wreck. As KP Sharma Oli government in Kathmandu steered a constitutional amendment to Schedule 3 of the constitution to update the national emblem by incorporating Limpiyadhura, Lipulekh and Kalapani in Nepals map, bilateral relations dived to a new low. Stating that New Delhi had already clarified its position, India has told Nepal it would refuse to hold boundary talks with Nepal after the passage of this amendment.
Nepals foreign minister Pradeep Gyawali tweeted this afternoon, “The House of Representatives unanimously adopted the Constitution Amendment Bill, paving the way for accommodating the updated political-administrative map in the national emblem.”
Nepal's Samajwadi Party Chairman Upendra Yadav in his remarks called for the Mahakali Treaty to be amended. Speaker Agni Sapkota also rejected the only amendment proposal registered by Socialist MP Sarita Giri on the Constitution Amendment Bill. The legislation will now move to the National Assembly for its approval, which is expected to happen without any hitch.
The Indian government has maintained a studied silence on the issue after the MEA stated last week that India would not accept unilateral changes in Nepals map. In fact, this week, the government emphasised on the “close and civilisational” ties between the two countries.
On Saturday, the Indian Army chief, Gen MM Naravane also softened his stance on Nepal, saying, “We have a very strong relationship with Nepal. We have geographical, cultural, historical, religious linkages. We have very strong people to people connect. Our relation with them has always been strong and will remain strong in the future.” Gen Naravanes comment a couple of weeks ago that Nepal was raising opposition on the Kalapani at “someone elses behest” was generally held to be the trigger for Nepal PM Olis outburst. In fact, that comment also raised objections among Nepals armed forces, who have generally kept a low profile on the growing dispute.
In the past few days, sources say there has been some consternation in Nepal regarding Indias continued silence on the issue. India has refused to hold talks with Nepal while the Oli government pushed through the constitutional amendment. “We will not talk with a sword Read More – Source

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