Nepal Parliament approves updated map as border dispute with India escalates
INTERNATIONAL | JUNE 19, 2020:
Nepal's national assembly, on Thursday, approved a new map of the country which includes Indian territory. The move has now escalated the border dispute between the two South Asian countries.
The bill was passed by the lower house over the weekend and members of the National Assembly, or upper house, voted 57-0 in favour of a constitutional amendment bill.
The updated map includes Limpiyadhura, Lipulkeh and Kalapani areas to the west of Nepal – all controlled by India.
India reacted to this by stating that the map was not based on historical facts or evidence.
However, Nepal's Law Minister, Shiva Maya Tumbahamphe, responded to India's statement by stating that talks will be held to settle the dispute.
"We have enough facts and evidence and we'll sit with India to resolve the issue through diplomatic negotiations," he said.
According to a statement released by the presidential palace, the new map was approved by President Bidhya Devi Bhandari hours after it was cleared by the parliament.
Meanwhile, a spokesman for India's foreign ministry declined to comment on Nepal's decision.
It may be mentioned that the dispute over the map began last month after India inaugurated an 80 km road from the northern state of Uttarakhand to Lipulekh on the border with Tibet.
According to Nepal, the road also passes through an area belonging to it. The road also cuts the travel time and distance from India to Tibet's Mansarovar Lake which is considered holy by Hindus.