Ongoing Nepal-India Border Issues, Causes And Possible Solutions

The border dispute between Nepal and India can be solved through bilateral discussions and understanding.

Nepal and India have had many border issues. Recently, Nepal issued a new revised map including Kalapani, Lipulekh and Limpiyadhura. This dispute got re-ignited after India published a new map including areas that Nepal claims to be theirs and India inaugurated the ‘Lipulekh-Kailash’ road which Nepal believed was in their territory.

The revised map of Nepal was rejected by India as they considered Nepal had included the parts from Pithoragarh district in Uttarakhand state. Here, we look at this border issue, what it caused it in the first place and how it can be solved between Nepal and India.

New Map issued by Nepal Government claiming Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani area.

Indian Defense Minister Rajnath Singh inaugurated road through disputed land

Nepal-India Border Issues in the western border

The main border issue that Nepal and India have right now is the western border of Nepal-India. As per ‘The Treaty of Sugauli’ signed between Nepal and British East India Company in the year 1816, Kali river marks the western border of Nepal. 

Nepal before and after Sugauli treaty

Causes of Border Dispute

In the present day, both the countries regard the Kali river as the international border. However, the origin of the river is disputed.

Nepal and India have a different opinion regarding the origin of the Kali river.

Nepal’s Claim

Nepal believes that the stream originating from the Limpiyadhura is the main Kali river and therefore, the three villages namely Kunti, Nabi and Gunji, Lipulekh and Kalapani are part of Nepal.

India’s Claim

India claims that the main source of the Kali river is the Tinker river originating from the Tinker Bhanjyang and therefore the those disputed land belongs to India.

Map of Nepal showing Kalapani, Lipulekh, Limpyadhura and the disputed origins of the Kali river.

However, if we think critically the dispute is in Nepal favours. The dispute is about the origin of Kali river. If we look deeply at the map, the origin of Kali river from the Limpiyadhura side is wide, which means Limpiyadhura is the major origin of the Kali river.

British Map from 1827 says Kali river originates from Limpiyadhura

British map from 1827 that clarifies Kali river originates from Limpiyadhura.

Where Nepal Lagged?

India employs Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) to protect and monitor its border areas. However, from the Nepali sides, no such forces have been deployed. No any effort was made by Nepal to claim the land after the sugauli treaty was signed. A per the reports, ‘Lipulekh-Kailash’ road through Lipulekh pass was started a decade ago and still the government, mainly PM Oli denies to have any knowledge about the road construction whatsoever.

Sashastra Seema Bal( SSB) in Indo-Nepal Border

Possible Solutions

The only possible solution is the bilateral discussion between the two countries. The representatives of both countries must participate in active discussion to find out the origin of Kali River.

India and Bangladesh too had border issues and they were solved with discussions in 2015 with the exchange of enclaves between two countries. 

Can Britain Help?

Nepali people may be wondering if the British Government can help. However, it is said that the colonial rulers do not have this policy to express those historical arguments.

India and Nepal always have had friendly relations and it should always. Both countries need each other for overall development. The ongoing Nepal-India border issues must and can only be solved with bilateral discussion and mutual understanding.

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