Bilateral tensions have not yet taken the form of talks after India inaugurated a road to Mansarovar, China, covering Nepali land. After India’s agreement with China in May 2018, India has recently started road construction since the unilateral map was made public. Nepal immediately protested. Former Administrator Suryanath Upadhyaya was the coordinator of the task force formed to study the Limpiadhura area and Susta. A five-member committee was formed under his leadership. Based on the report submitted by the committee, Nepal has not yet been able to hold talks with India. He was also a member of the Enlightened People’s Group (EPG) formed to review Nepal-India relations. The EPG prepared a joint report two years ago, but India has not understood. Annapurna Post’s Chandra Shekhar Adhikari talks to Upadhyaya about the situation after the issuance of the map, border settlement, bilateral relations and other issues:
How do you see the situation after India inaugurated the road to Mansarovar through Nepali land?
It has become clear in the released map that the place where India dug the road belongs to Nepal. It is clear that the Indian side has been digging roads claiming Nepal’s land for many years. Nepal’s border is up to Limpiyadhura. Lipulec is much farther than Limpiyadhura. Even though India dug the road through Limpiyadhura, Nepal’s land fell. We should not look for alternatives to dialogue and dialogue. India must be prepared for negotiations anyway. A negotiated solution can be permanent. India had been saying that it had encroached a total of 395 square kilometers (335 square kilometers of Nepal up to Limpiyadhura and 60 square kilometers in Kalapani). Instead of escalating the dispute, the problem should be solved by putting one’s evidence on the basis of pressure. There is enough evidence in our report. Nepal has moved the matter forward on its behalf and now India should respond. We should not think that we will move forward out of contempt for our small neighbors.
Nepal will continue to push for talks, but what will be the solution if India does not care?
The solution is to bring India to the negotiating table anyway. The solution is to negotiate. It is to create pressure for negotiations. Similarly, India is not going to come to the talks. If he had come, he would have come earlier. That area is also the border of China. We have questioned whether the two sides have reached an agreement on that area. In order to end the talks, Nepal has to tell India not to work alone. In this way, if India does not listen to its old neighbor and shows hackam, it will be difficult for him too. At this time, India has also started talking about holding talks.
At this time, even the intellectuals of India should not irritate their neighbors, they should seek a solution through talks, right?
Yes, it seems so. The intellectuals of his country have written that they should sit in talks. But, he is not caring. This is not good. This dispute should be resolved through talks. Neither India nor Nepal has another alternative. Nepal’s demand is that the border should be fixed on the same basis as it was set when the British left. Nepal has only sought its own territory.
Some are saying that a solution should be found by internationalizing the dispute. What is your opinion on this?
It is important to understand what internationalization is. The relationship between the two countries is governed by international law. It also falls under international law. If we look at the letter we sent, the map issued, the matter of interference, the protest letter sent in 2015, etc., this issue has become an international cause. At this time, Nepal itself is ready to talk and India should also come to the table by preparing itself for talks. If not through negotiations, there are other ways. The Bata Community of Nations is open to the international community. It should not be forgotten that the United Nations is based on two things. All sovereign nations are equal. Everyone should be treated equally. Disputes should be resolved peacefully. The United Nations was formed because of the war and oppression in the international arena.
What to do if they do not come to the talks or a solution does not come out of it?
Many more complex issues have been resolved through negotiations. Even though internationalization is over, they will eventually initiate a solution through talks. Such a history already exists. Therefore, we need to be more involved in our preparation than such issues.
Doesn’t it seem like we haven’t been able to raise this issue?
I don’t think so. Because we have raised it at different times. This is an issue that is being raised in relation to borders. Nepal sent the letter in 2015. Even without talks, we are not silent. We have raised this issue in every visit. We are not silent. Nepal’s internal system is in a very weak state. Even after India became independent, BP’s government went. The Panchayat system came to a state of 046 years. India is also involved in such changes. He was also involved in the management here. After the promulgation of the constitution, a blockade was imposed here. This shows that his attitude towards Nepal is to blame. It is no secret that India is not our strength internally. We must move forward with this in mind. The media should not only blame our government but also move towards strengthening it. It is clear that the map was passed because the government is strong.
Does it mean that India is forced to think about this when our political parties are united?
Of course At this time, when the parties are united and there is a strong government, the map has come. It has also taught India a lesson.