India

PM should brief oppn on Nepal map row, demands Congress

New Delhi, June 10 (IANS) After Nepal's House of Representatives endorsed the new map which has Indian territory, the Congress has said it is a matter of “national concern” and demanded that the government take the nation into confidence and brief other political parties, as is expected in a parliamentary democracy.

Former Union Minister and Rajya Sabha member Anand Sharma said: “The recent developments in the India-Nepal relations and the dispute over the Kalapani-Lipulekh area, following the publication of a new map by Nepal depicting the area as Nepalese Territory is a matter of national concern.”

The Congress leader demanded that the Centre take the “nation into confidence, and brief the leadership of the political parties,” as is expected in a parliamentary democracy.

The Congress said that India and Nepal share a historic and time-tested relationship marked by mutual respect, friendship and trust. The strong cultural ties and shared traditions between the people of India and Nepal make the relationship unique and special.

Both the countries have invested enormously in nurturing and promoting a strategic partnership recognizing and respecting each other's sensitivities, it said, adding that India and Nepal have an established bilateral mechanism to resolve any dispute and differences through negotiations.

“It is regrettable, that the present impasse has reached a stage, which has strained the friendly relationship. This needs to be addressed urgently. India has always respected the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Nepal,” Sharma added.

Congress said that both countries have successfully settled 98 per cent of common border issues. “There is an expressed willingness on both sides to settle all disputes in the same spirit of close friendship and mutual trust. Congress party is of considered view, that diplomacy and negotiations must be given a chance to resolve the present issue.”

India and Nepal, as neighbours and natural partners, should secure and protect the precious goodwill built over the years between the two countries, in view of the seriousness of the issue and the significance of India-Nepal relations, said the Congress statement.

–IANS

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