India rejects Nepal's objections over link road to Kailash Mansarovar
The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said that an 80-km-long road connecting Dharchula in Uttarakhand to the Lipulekh pass is "completely within its territory." The road, inaugurated on Friday, will make the trip to Kailash Mansarovar in Tibet easier. The MEA statement came after Nepal raised objections to India's "unilateral" act, calling it a breach of an agreement between the two nations.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh on Friday inaugurated the 80-km-long road stretching from Dharchula to Lipulekh pass, which lies along the Indo-China border at an altitude of 17,000 feet. The road is expected to make the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra easier for pilgrims. Singh said pilgrims will now be able to complete the journey in one week instead of up to three weeks.
Nepal's Foreign Ministry said Saturday, "As per the Sugauli Treaty (1816), all territories east of Kali River, including Limpiyadhura, Kalapani, and Lipulekh, belong to Nepal." It said, "This unilateral act runs against the understanding reached between the two countries including at the level of PMs that a solution to boundary issues would be sought through negotiation," adding that it remains committed to "diplomatic solution."
In response to Nepal's objections, the MEA issued a statement on Saturday saying, "The recently inaugurated road section in Pithoragarh district in the state of Uttarakhand lies completely within the territory of India." The statement added that the road follows the pre-existing route used by Kailash Mansarovar pilgrims that has now been made "pliable" for their ease and convenience.
"India and Nepal have established mechanisms to deal with all boundary matters. The boundary delineation exercise with Nepal is ongoing. India is committed to resolving outstanding boundary issues through diplomatic dialogue and in the spirit of our close and friendly bilateral relations with Nepal."